Discriminatory HR practices lead to 'enforcement' actions, says MOM

What constitutes 'discrimination' in employment practices?

Discriminatory HR practices lead to 'enforcement' actions, says MOM

Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has provided clarification on what could be considered "discrimination" on the employer's side when it comes to HR practices.

Manpower minister Tan See Leng said that employers' hiring and other workplace decisions should always be in accordance with the state's Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP).

"Employers found to have hired a foreigner without considering similarly qualified local candidates, or shortlisted candidates for reasons that are not related to job requirements such as age or race, are clearly in breach of TGFEP," Tan said.

Read more: Discrimination against female candidates rife in Hong Kong

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) probes all reports of workplace discrimination and takes them to MOM for further investigation. If a workplace is found guilty of discrimination, Tan said the ministry could take enforcement action, including suspension of work pass privileges.

"When workplace fairness legislation is enacted, the offences on discrimination will be made clear, for which a wider range of enforcement actions can be taken against offending employers," he said.

Read more: Discrimination still rampant despite D&I efforts

Avoiding discrimination

To prevent committing discrimination, Tan said that employers should abide by the principles of fair employment practices outlined in the TGFEP.

As per the TAFEP website, the five principles of fair employment practices include:

  1. Recruit based on merit. Recruit and select employees on the basis of merit, and regardless of age, race, gender, religion, marital status and family responsibilities, or disability
  2. Respect employees. Treat employees fairly and with respect and implement progressive human resource management systems
  3. Provide fair opportunities. Provide employees with fair opportunity to be considered for training and development based on their strengths and needs
  4. Reward fairly. Reward employees fairly based on their ability, performance, contribution, and experience
  5. Comply with labour laws. Abide by labour laws and adopt the TGFEP

Read more: Why HR has a reverse discrimination challenge

"Recruitment, in-employment promotion and rewards, and dismissals based on factors that are not relevant to the job requirements are breaches of the TGFEP," Tan said.

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