More S’pore Employers Are Being Investigated for Possible Discriminatory Hiring Practices

It’s not a secret that Singapore takes a very serious stance against discriminatory hiring practices.

In fact, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has already dealt punishments to those who do so.

However, those who’re caught don’t make up all the numbers.

There are a lot more cases than what’s been revealed to the public.

More Local Employers Investigated 

We can only hope not all of them are guilty.

A report on employment practices was released on Thursday, 19 November 2020.

It revealed that more employers are now under investigation for discriminatory hiring practices.

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) revealed that in the first half of 2020, around 260 of such cases were looked into for investigation.

Which is insane, considering that the first half of 2019, there were only 160 cases.

And recently, we also saw 47 firms being put under the watch list for these hiring practices as well.

A total of 90 employers from those firms had their work pass privileges suspended.

You can read more about it here, but they basically can’t hire new foreigners or renew the work passes of existing foreign staff.

Harsher punishments can include the banning of applying for new work passes between 12 to 24 months.

43% of these employers were identified through data analytics from MOM’s active investigations.

A MOM spokesman said the remaining were identified based on complaints received by the ministry and Tafep.

Raising Awareness For Such Cases

Don’t think that the crackdown against these employers will stop soon.

The director of MOM’s employment standards enforcement department said that they will continue in their investigation of discriminatory employments.

She also mentioned that those guilty will be harshly dealt with.

Meanwhile, Tafep’s general manager also said that the organisation is working more closely with MOM to take action against such practices.

The data, currently, does not paint a positive picture as well.

Based on a ministry survey in 2018, discriminatory hiring practices have only gone up.

The percentage of those who felt there was discrimination during their job search process rose to 15% in 2018. This was only 10% in 2014.

Age-based discrimination was the most common reason stated. However, discrimination based on personal characteristics of gender and number of children was where it increased the most.

(Wait, number of children?)

This is despite most private sectors having seemingly fair processes and unbiased criteria in their assessment of job applicants.

Related Areas Of Concern

And for those who still held onto their jobs, wage cuts became a common complaint point.

Around 580 complaints relating to cost-saving measures were filed between May and August this year.

This was done by over 470 employers.

If you didn’t know, employers with 10 or more employees have had to notify MOM if they such measures that would affect employees’ monthly salaries by more than 25%.

This has been in place since March this year.

Thankfully, most came from poor communication and were properly resolved.

TODAYonline reported that 80 complaints were filed involving retrenchment benefits.

MOM also mentioned that more than 60% of employers had provided fair and reasonable retrenchment benefits.

Other employers were also found to have real financial difficulties.

At the very least, one in five employers MOM intervened had improved their practices.

So far, no one has purposely refused to channel government support to proper use.

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