Fair Hiring to Be Strengthened Within the Nation
Starting 1 October 2020, Singapore employment agencies will have new licensing conditions. This is a bid by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to strengthen fair hiring.
MOM intends to work alongside progressive employment agencies (EAs). Together, they will help secure traineeship and job packages for Singaporeans. This will be done via the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.
Strengthening Fair Practices in Recruitment
Singapore does not tolerate workplace discrimination. MOM’s recently updated Fair Consideration Framework early this year enhanced penalties associated with discrimination. All complaints will be investigated and firm action taken against those found guilty.
Singapore employment agencies have a key role to play. They are intermediaries for the local labour market. Their role is to assist employers to fill available positions. They must uphold and abide by fair hiring practices. As such, new license conditions will be introduced. With it, almost 3,900 agencies must comply with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP). This must be done when recruiting any new candidates.
Additionally, the EAs need to brief all clients on the TGFEP’s fair recruitment requirements. They must make reasonable efforts to attract the local Singaporeans to fill positions. All candidates must be considered based on merit. Withholding applications based on race, disability, nationality, or gender is not permitted.
If a Singapore employment agency fails to comply, they will be issued demerit points. The new license conditions could issue EAs with suspension, prosecution, or revoke their license.
New Human Capital Partnership (HCP)
Mom also plans to introduce the HCP Mark. This identifies progressive EAs that have shown strong commitment for fair hiring. This is an expansion of the HCP Programme under the tripartite. Currently, 550 exemplary employers are recognised. The HCP recognition identifies an EA as the best-in-class.
Becoming SGUnited Jobs and Skills Placement Partners
EAs that uphold fair hiring practices will be selected by MOM to be Placement Partners. MOM will provide full support and funding for those that find it difficult to secure jobs. This pathway is aimed at helping vulnerable job seekers find jobs best suited for their skills. Details about this will be announced later.