MOM to ramp up efforts against unfair hiring

The Ministry of Manpower is promising 'stronger deterrence for discrimination'

MOM to ramp up efforts against unfair hiring

Singapore’s Minister of Manpower last week (1 January) announced plans to review its policy against discriminating Singaporeans when hiring.

“As we begin 2020, my colleagues at Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and I re-dedicate ourselves to strengthening fairness at the workplace as a value and a virtue,” Josephine Teo wrote in a Facebook post.

“For a start, we plan to update the Fair Consideration Framework. Expect stronger deterrence for discrimination against Singaporeans when hiring, but also stronger support for employers who are committed to giving our people a fair chance.”

No details were shared in the post. The Fair Consideration Framework was last updated in July 2018.

Under the framework, firms found favouring foreigners in their hires are placed on a watchlist. Their applications for Employment Passes (EP) are scrutinised, with the possibility of longer processing times.

Additionally, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) will engage companies suspected to be discriminatory. TAFEP then assists companies to improve their hiring practices.

As of January 2019, a total of 521 companies were warned or blacklisted over a period of five years. Of these, 58% received warnings, while 42% faced more difficulty when applying for foreign work passes.

READ MORE: Government crackdown on "unfair hiring" on the horizon

“For jobseekers, fairness is when employers hire on merit,” Teo wrote. “When a job is advertised, there should be no closed ‘circle of friends’ who are favoured.

“When a person is the best candidate, gender, age, race, physical or past medical conditions should not be barriers.

“It is not only employees who want fairness at the workplace. Employers too, need to be treated fairly. Sometimes, disgruntled employees wrongly accuse them. They count on MOM to be fair investigators.”

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