Singapore Press Holdings launches sexual harassment taskforce

CEO Ng Yat Chung draws a line after two editors were involved in undeclared and improper relations with a junior staff member.
By: | October 12, 2018

Singapore’s largest media organisation, Singapore Press Holdings, is setting up a taskforce to build and enforce its code of conduct with regard to staff relations and inappropriate behaviour.

This comes after two senior editors from its flagship newspaper The Straits Times were disciplined after having “improper” relationships with the same junior member of staff.

Both have been redeployed from their posts, and one has had their salary docked and been furnished with a written warning.

The company says an internal investigation was sparked after a female employee was admitted to hospital.

“(The investigation) found sufficient grounds to conclude that the two editors concerned had breached SPH’s code of conduct,” the company said. “SPH takes a serious view of any transgression of its code of conduct for its staff and will not hesitate to take appropriate measures.’

SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung announced the new taskforce in an email to staff on October 11, stressing that the company took a serious view on sexual harassment and other breaches of its code of conduct. “We will not hesitate to take firm action against anyone – and I mean, anyone, who has been found to have breached our code of conduct,” he wrote.

The task force will ensure that policies on relations between superiors and subordinates are set out clearly, and that staff are aware of the code of conduct they are expected to abide by.

It will also develop additional, informal avenues for staff to seek advice if they encounter inappropriate behaviour. This includes access to counsellors and mentors in the company, and is on top of existing whistle-blowing channels and the company’s HR department.