The move could impact recruitment efforts
Shaming firms have “negative consequences," warned Senior Minister of State for Manpower Koh Poh Koon on Tuesday, amid calls to name firms guilty of workplace discrimination. Member of Parliament Sharael Taha previously requested the Ministry of Manpower to name and shame firms that have discriminatory workplaces, The Straits Times reported, with the MP adding that this could motivate employers and staff to have more fair employment practices. But Koh, in Parliament, said that naming and shaming firms could result to negative consequences for some businesses, particularly on their recruitment efforts.
"Naming firms will sometimes also end up having negative consequences because it would then frustrate their efforts to actually recruit and hire people, and impede some of their business functions," he said as quoted by The Straits Times.
According to the minister, firms that are reported to have discriminatory workplaces at some degree can be placed under the Fair Consideration Framework watch list.
Those firms have not yet violated rules yet, clarified the minister, but some of their practices are on the "grey margins" and putting them on the watch list could alert them to their questionable behaviour.
Koh said that educating employers on fair employment guidelines has made some workplaces improve. However, those with persistent discriminatory actions will face "enforcement actions" from authorities, which include curtailing their work pass privileges and attending corrective workshops.
Employees who expose discriminatory or unfair treatment from their employers could also come to MOM or Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) to receive protection.
Koh said that while rare, a law protects employees against dismissal without just cause and exposing discrimination at the offices.
Tafep and MOM will also investigate on reported allegations, while a committee is already working on legislation to protect whistle-blowers, according to Koh as reported by Straits Times.