MOM plans to clamp down harder on hiring discrimination in 2020, Josephine Teo says

More information on the review of the Fair Consideration Framework is expected to be disclosed in two weeks.
The Straits Times

Singaporean workers can look forward to more fairness when seeking employment in the new year, as plans to clamp down harder on hiring discrimination are expected.

On Wednesday (Jan 1), Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo wrote on Facebook that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is looking to update the Fair Consideration Framework, which applies to all companies in Singapore.

According to her, Singaporeans can not only “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”.

The Straits Times (ST) reported that more information on the review will be disclosed in two weeks.

In her Facebook post, Teo said that in a time of global business disruptions, people needed a fair chance to progress, and fair opportunities to reskill and stay employed.

“For jobseekers, fairness is when employers hire on merit…When a person is the best candidate, gender, age, race, physical or past medical conditions should not be barriers,” she wrote.

Framework applies to all companies in Singapore

Launched in 2014, MOM says on its website that the Fair Consideration Framework sets out expectations for companies to consider Singaporeans fairly.

Under current rules, companies must advertise professional, managerial and executive posts for at least 14 calendar days before applying for an Employment Pass (EP) for a foreigner.

According to MOM, firms found to have favoured foreigners in hiring are placed on an MOM watchlist, and their EP applications will be scrutinised more closely.

In a speech given on November 4, 2019, Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said that about 600 firms had been placed on the watchlist since 2016. Additionally, a total of 2,300 EP applications had been rejected or withheld by MOM, or withdrawn by employers.

Of the 600 firms on the list, 260 have since been removed after their hiring practices improved, he added.

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