47 firms in Singapore on watchlist for possible discriminatory hiring

The companies, which comprise of both large and small firms, are found to have “exceptionally high share of PMETs compared with their industry peers".
By: | August 6, 2020

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore has placed 47 employers on the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watch list for potentially discriminatory hiring practices.

The companies are added on top of the existing 1,200 employers on the list for having an “exceptionally high share of foreign professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) compared with their industry peers”, said the MOM on August 5.

For example, 18 firms have foreigners comprising more than half of their PMET workforce. In addition, 30 employers from the financial and professional services sectors have a high concentration of PMETs from single nationalities.

READ: Helping displaced Singaporeans find jobs “topmost priority”

Among the companies added to the list are banks and fund managers, as well as management consulting firms and firms providing project management and engineering services.

“While these firms were supporting local PMET employment, their workforce profiles raise concerns when compared to industry peers,” said the MOM.

“We will subject their hiring to closer scrutiny to ensure that there is no nationality bias against locals, which is unacceptable and not in line with fair, merit-based hiring,” added the ministry.

Part of the repercussions for employers on the list is having their Employment Pass (EP) applications closely scrutinised, while those who remain uncooperative will have their work pass privileges withdrawn.

The move follows Manpower Minister Josephine Teo’s comment on her Facebook post that there would be updates to the framework to ensure fairness for workers.

She announced in January that employers would face stiffer penalties for discriminatory hiring practices, and could be prosecuted in court if they make false declarations on fair hiring consideration.

Under the updated framework, employers found guilty of workplace and hiring discrimination will not be able to renew the work passes of existing employees during the period of debarment. Previously, debarment applied largely to new work pass applications.

Teo will be speaking at the HR Tech Fest Asia Online 2020 from September 29 to October 1.