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47 Firms Placed On Singapore Watchlist For Workplace Discrimination

47 firms suspected of engaging in “discriminatory hiring practices” have been added to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Fair Consideration Framework watchlist.

MOM stated that the ministry had been investigating a list of over 1,200 companies since 2016. Apart from the 47 firms under investigation, cases on 240 firms are pending.

Employers with a high proportion of PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians), or a high concentration of PMETs from the same nationality, will be placed on the watchlist.

Firms Include Those From Financial Industries

PMETs make up about three in four of Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) retrenched in 2018, the highest in a decade. In 2019, the number of local unemployed PMETs stood at 39,000 in June.

Of the 47 firms, 30 are from the finance and professional services industry while 17 are from sectors such as administrative and support, manufacturing and education.

The 47 firms hired 2,000 employment pass holders and more than 2,800 PMETs. The largest firm employed close to 2,000 PMETs.

18 of the firms under investigation had foreigners comprising more than half of their PMET work force.

All 30 employers from the financial and professional services industry had a high concentration of PMETs from a single nationality.

MOM Urges Whistleblowers To Come Forward

Since 2016, over 3,200 employment pass applications have been rejected, withheld or withdrawn by MOM or firms.

The Tripartite Alliance For Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) found that employers under investigation were unable to hire Singaporeans with the requisite experience, and failed to cast a wide enough net while hiring.

Tafep’s intervention has been provided as an avenue for employers to review their hiring practices.

MOM has urged the public to report discriminatory behaviour online for investigation. The identity of whistleblowers will be kept confidential.

Employers can be barred from hiring or renewing foreign workers for up to two years and may face prosecution if they make false declarations on fair consideration.

Featured Image Credit: My Careers Future SG

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