According to a task force commissioned by the law community, the young lawyers in Singapore are complaining about long working hours and “unreasonable” demands from their bosses. Rookie lawyers are the most well-paid rookie profession at S$4,000/mth, but their complaints are no different from what a junior engineer or doctor would see.
The task force set up to address the high attrition rate said that young lawyers are complaining about the lack of profession guidance, and having to work over weekends when “there isn’t a need to”. The young lawyers also feedback that they are being “thrown task to task”, subject to “avoidable stress”, and working overtime hours during their 6 month probation period.
However, these malpractices are very common in Singapore employment, and especially rampant in private sector. In June 2017, the Ministry of Manpower reported that Singapore have the longest working hours in the world, at 2,350 hours a year.
The task force recommended that supervisor lawyers should not take young lawyers’ availability for granted and called for the government to set up an ombudsman for the young lawyers.
Unfortunately for rookies in other professions facing similar employment abuse, there has never been a task force conveyed to address their complaints. Unlike the law profession which have their law license protected from foreign competition, young local graduates in engineering, marketing or IT will see their jobs readily replaced by cheaper and more experienced foreigners.