There’s been a 42% rise in workplace harassment complaints

Most were related to unfair hiring, ageism and sexism

There’s been a 42% rise in workplace harassment complaints

Tafep saw a 42% increase in workplace discrimination or harassment complaints in Singapore this year.

One in four employee complaints related to unfair hiring practices. One in 10, related to age discrimination, with another one in 13 complaints accusing employers of gender bias.

In a report, the Tripartite Alliance suggested that the ‘enhanced’ fair consideration framework “which put up harsher penalties on employers for discriminatory hiring practices” had contributed to the jump.

Tafep now handles an ‘expanded scope’ of issues, including workplace harassment – the alliance believes this too could have led to the rise in complaints.

Read more: Singapore takes workplace discrimination ‘very seriously’

Tafep works together with the Ministry of Manpower to investigate any claims made. During the investigations, MOM has made clear that they will hold all key decision makers accountable to any offences, whether it’s line managers, the CEO or CHRO.

In a statement, MOM stated they’re prepared to name these leaders publicly, and revoke their work passes if they are foreigners.

Read more: Employers risk 'stiffer penalties' for unfair hiring

As for recalcitrant offenders, the government has promised to take firm action against employers.

In January 2020, the penalties were raised for all forms of workplace discrimination, including age, race, nationality, and mental health condition:

  • Discriminatory employers will not be allowed to hire new foreign workers or renew existing foreign workers for a minimum period of 12 months, and up to a maximum of 24 months.
  • Since work passes last for two to three years, the ban prevents employers from renewing almost all the existing workforce.
  • In addition, MOM will prosecute employers who make false declarations on fair consideration. If convicted, they could face up to two years in prison, up to $20,000 fine, or both.

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