Over the past decades, the notions of employment and labor ethics have become some of the most crucial aspects in terms of business management and organizational structure. Previously, a major focus of the business model was placed on enterprise productivity and cost-efficiency, with management’s ability to sacrifice ethical labor framework in favor of tangible outcome. Nowadays, however, any company that deals with unethical employment might struggle with maintaining efficient partnerships and an amiable reputation in the market.
Moreover, today’s market pays much attention to organizational justice, emphasizing the importance of employee’s fairness and dedication to the working process. According to the researchers, the system of benefits in the workplace is one of the key concepts in terms of securing employees’ job satisfaction and productivity (Laundon et al., 2019). Thus, while different enterprises may represent different approaches to the employee benefits system, the end goal of each customary attitude remains the same.
Considering the following aspect, it is of paramount importance to draw attention to the role of globalization in such a growing tendency. In fact, with the rapid globalization market, many enterprises benefit from cooperating with employees through outsourcing and product expansion. As a result, the issue of labor ethics has emerged in the context of sociocultural peculiarities of staff, making it necessary to establish a common ground for benefit supply (Green, 2020). Hence, in order to avoid some dramatic ethical challenges, enterprises are to carefully revise the employment policies present in the country of interest prior to the full-scale expansion to the market.
In such a way, employers could make sure that they would be able to secure the existing benefit system. Thus, the primary purpose of the following research paper is to define the most beneficial country for further expansion based on the labor benefit policies introduced. The choice is limited to Singapore and India, as these countries are implicitly considered to be the best options in terms of global expansion.
Statutory and Customary Benefits
Although the models of employment vary greatly within states, the overall definition and division of the responsibilities have many options in common. Thus, when it comes to the benefit interpretation within an enterprise, the overall number of benefits falls into two major categories: statutory and customary. The paradigm of statutory benefits encompasses the employees’ entitlement to social security, unemployment compensation, and workers’ compensation, i.e., the compensation paid to the employees injured in the work process (Harper, 2019).
Thus, they are generally predetermined by federal obligation regardless of the enterprise type. The scope of customary benefits, however, depends greatly on the state’s approach to human resource management and the economic capabilities of the national segment. Thus, prior to implementing expansion policies within a company, it is of crucial importance to assess the patterns of customary benefits in the country.
Over the past decades, Singapore has become one of the most popular destinations in terms of global business expansion and outsourcing due to a number of reasons, including:
- Strategic location: the state’s beneficial location near the major sea lanes in terms of global trade, Singapore has become one of the leading trade centers in Asia.
- Economic freedom: in the past years, Singapore has become one of the most cost-efficient states for employers due to their extremely low tax rates, freedom of decision-making in terms of business running, ability to control the trade flow on the level of the enterprise, and property rights.
- Language: most employees in the area speak English fluently, which makes it extremely convenient to organize productive cooperation within the company (Saari, 2017).
However, while all of the aforementioned aspects are, by all means, important factors to consider when planning the expansion, there is the most crucial aspect of business management in Singapore that attracts so many potential employers. This aspect primarily concerns the patterns of employment and benefits allocation within workers, as they are not federally bound, leaving the freedom of choice directly to the employer. To obtain a better perspective of the procedure, both statutory and customary options are to be analyzed.
To begin with, it is necessary to dwell upon the number of benefits determined by the state government. For instance, when it comes to minor employee rights, the Singapore government provides workers with at least one full-scale break during a day, as the work process that lasts more than six continuous hours is frowned upon (Wong & Kiat, 2020). Other statutory benefits include:
- Holiday entitlement. The following aspect might be divided into two major constituents: minimum paid annual leave and public holidays. The former provision presupposes seven days of paid annual leave provided that the worker is officially employed for at least three months. Speaking of public holidays, the Singapore government approves of eleven official days off.
- Paid time off entitlement. According to the Singapore Employment Act, the employee is officially entitled to fourteen days of paid outpatient leave and sixty days of paid hospital leave annually provided that the worker is employed for more than six months.
- Entitlement for parents. According to the Child Development Co-Savings Act, female employees who worked at least three months prior to the leave and gave birth to the Singapore citizen are entitled to sixteen weeks of maternity leave. Under any other circumstances, the number of weeks might be reduced. The financial compensation for the time off (equal to eight weeks of average workload) is considered in cases when the employee has at least two living children who were not born during one labor. Make employees are entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave. Paid adoptive leave is only available for female employees and constitutes twelve weeks. Paid shared parental leave presupposes a four-week duration. The childcare leave entitles parents to have six paid days off annually and six unpaid days off for infant care (Wong & Kiat, 2020).
Besides the aforementioned explicit duties of the employers, Singapore federal government presents a series of recommendations for the business owners in the area, including harassment and discrimination protection. However, there are no strict policies considering breach of these recommendations as long as the actions do not interfere with other administrative or criminal state laws. The aspects that are not tackled by the government yet require attention in today’s employment paradigm include the issues of wage and healthcare insurance.
One of the most peculiar parts of employment in Singapore is the absence of an established minimum wage within the state. The exceptions only include the segments of cleaning, security, and landscape, as according to the license obtained for the job, there should be a minimum pay for the work performed (Wong & Kiat, 2020). The following policy is quite controversial when analyzed from various perspectives.
On the one hand, the absence of minimum wage is of considerable benefit for the employers, as there are no limitations in terms of pay, and the overall tax burden is lower. However, on the other hand, such a tendency is insecure for the employees, as they feel a lack of stability. Moreover, the researchers claim the presence of minimum wage to contribute to the overall skill development within the state, serving as a motivation for human resources (Marjit et al., 2020). Thus, although the issue of the minimum wage is one of the leading factors in terms of businesses’ interest in Singapore as an expansion target, the question itself is rather risky and requires some reconsideration.
Another significant issue traced in the Singapore employment patterns is the absence of healthcare insurance provision when not promoted by the company itself. Thus, according to the Singapore legislature, no enterprise is officially required to provide any kind of healthcare insurance for the employees (Wong & Kiat, 2020). However, the financial coverage is once the health condition is directly related to employment issues such as work-related injuries or exposure to harmful substances.
In order to secure the benefits efficiency, the Singapore government has introduced a system of immediate complaint filling service knows as Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), which allows employees obtain compensation without spending much time filing official court complaints, as these official proceedings might take months to be resolved (Ministry of Manpower, 2020). Thus, the lack of federal obligations on healthcare insurance is another attractive feature in terms of potential business expansion in terms of the economy. Considering all the aforementioned benefits, it might be concluded that Singapore is, by all means, one of the most beneficial states in terms of expansion due to the lack of mandatory benefits, creating a questionable environment for the employees instead.
Along with Singapore, India has also become one of the most attractive destinations for businesses who are willing to go global due to the following reasons:
- Human capital: over the years, the image of Indian employees has evolved into a beneficial combination of ethics, hard work, dedication, and an exquisite level of cognitive ability.
- Market accessibility: since India has become a country open to investments and global cooperation, the development level within the country has been gradually increasing, claiming constant technological advancements and policy introductions.
- Scope of the market: the considerably high population rates make India one of the most attractive markets in terms of expansion, increasing the overall state’s purchasing capacity.
- Growing economy: modern patterns of development within the middle class claim India to be a promising investment for many international businesses with a similar target audience (Fischer & Roy, 2019).
Considering all the aforementioned characteristics of the market, it might be concluded that the human resource in India is one of the most beneficial aspects of the country’s economic opportunities. Such a benefit concerns both the expansion of the target market for a potential product as well as the extensive abilities in terms of potential employees. However, in order to obtain a better understanding of the human resource benefits, it is necessary to dwell upon the mandatory and customary employee benefits existing in the state.
One of the distinct features of the state that is quite similar to the situation in the US is the country’s division into several states that define their own employment policies. Thus, the statutory benefits include:
- Working hours and break entitlement. According to the acts predetermined by the Indian government, employees are entitled to work no more than eight or nine hours per day with an obligatory break up to an hour. The working hours that exceed the established limit are to be paid twice the employee’s average wage.
- Holiday entitlement. In India, employees have the right to fifteen-twenty days of annual paid holiday leave. When it comes to public holidays, employees are entitled to ten official days off on average, with minor exceptions made within the states.
- Minimum wage. Unlike Singapore, the notion of minimum wage of the employee exists in India, However, while there is still no established wage amount on a national level, the money equivalent might be defined according to the state government and type of occupation.
- Paid time off entitlement. The average number of days for one’s paid rime off in case of illness is ten days for the companies in the private sector. All the funds are to be reimbursed by the employer without any state interference.
- Entitlement for parents. Speaking of female employees, provided they work at least eighty days prior to leave, women are entitled to a 12-26-week paid (by employer) maternity leave. The leave duration is directly correlated with the number of children the employee has, and the leave is financially covered in the full amount. In case of medical termination of pregnancy or miscarriage, female employees are entitled to a six-week paid maternity leave. Pregnancy-related illness provides employees with a one-month paid leave right. Speaking of adoption and surrogacy, female employees are entitled to a 12-week paid maternity leave. All of the aforementioned refunds are to be equal to the worker’s usual wages and paid by the employer.
- Continuous periods of employment. According to the state provision, employees who work for a company for more than five years are legally entitled to financial benefits introduced by the employer. Moreover, when it comes to work termination due to reasons other than employee’s misconduct and personal intention, employers are to follow a specific procedure followed by a certain reimbursement form.
- Workers’ compensation. In case a worker has an injury that temporarily deprives them of the working ability, the employer is to pay the worker 25% of the average wage for a limited period of time. When faced with a work-related injury, the employer is to cover all the treatment expenses provided that the employee presents evidence of the injury expenses.
- Discrimination security. Unlike Singapore, India is more focused on the issue of discrimination and harassment when it comes to legal means implementation. Thus, the Indian federal government claims these notions to be highly inappropriate and punishable by state law (Aich, 2020).
When considering the notion of healthcare insurance within the enterprise, the process of defining the insurance allocation is dependent on the factors of average employee wages and the scope of the enterprise. Thus, employees who earn no less than INR 21,000 (approximately USD 280) are entitled to basic health insurance provided that the enterprise has at least ten employees.
The money for the insurance coverage is taken from the tax burden paid by the employees, the percentage of which is formed depending on one’s wage (Aich, 2020). Thus, the financial state of the company is not highly influenced by the health insurance provision, whereas the option itself is quite attractive for potential employees. Considering the aforementioned employment details, it might be concluded that the overall character of the Indian market provides employers with considerable benefit in terms of human resources, including the price of minimum wage and the number of mandatory benefits. The range of customary benefits in the workplace, in its turn, is also not limited by the federal provisions.
Areas of Weakness
Since the major purpose of the following analysis was to establish the most beneficial state for a US-based enterprise, it is now necessary to compare some of the crucial aspects of employee benefits of Singapore and India with the US employment patterns. To begin with, the notion of medical insurance should be compared, as the approaches to the issues in the aforementioned countries are significantly different.
According to the research, the vast majority of US-based enterprises are legally entitled to provide medical insurance and financial reimbursement for work-unrelated injuries (U.S. Department of Labor, 2020). Moreover, healthcare coverage also frequently concerns the employee’s close family. Thus, the patterns of employee medical care in both India and Singapore shall be reconsidered for the sake of employment security ethics development.
However, on the other hand, some of the statutory benefits available in Singapore and India are rather limited in the US. A prime example of such an issue is the legal justification of parental leave within the state. Although encouraged by the government, US enterprises are not legally obliged to provide any kind of paid parental leave (U.S. Department of Labor, 2020). India and Singapore, despite making it a legal inquiry, still have some issues with the policy implementation.
Thus, Singapore has no lawful consideration for female employees struggling with miscarriage, birth termination, pregnancy-related illnesses, and surrogate parenting. Indian enterprises, in their turn, pay little attention to the peculiarities of paternal leave. Thus, while each country has issues to work on in terms of paid parental care, the US needs more effort to at least introduce the following legislation on the federal level.
Summary and Conclusion
In terms of the following research, the two most popular countries in terms of market entry, India and Singapore, were analyzed on the matter of employee benefit patterns. When taking into consideration both options, it might be concluded that both options might be quite beneficial for a potential US-based company expansion due to their location and economic conditions for foreign businesses. However, if to choose one country with applicable employee benefits and economic environment, India should be selected due to the following reasons:
- Indian target market is more profitable in terms of number and human resources due to high population rates and growing middle class.
- The governmental system of benefit allocation is quite similar to the one of the US, as they are both dealing with variables in the states.
- Unlike Singapore, India is more open to foreign investments and expansion due to bigger territory and the ability to provide employers with enough local staff workers.
- The growing Indian economy allows foreign employers to introduce their innovative modifications to the market segment.
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