Indonesia put Singapore to shame on rules to protect locals.

By William Lim

It is reported by Straits Times that Indonesia have come up it’s own version of the  Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) to have firms to hire locals before expats, barring 19 human resources-related position to be taken by expats in their country. (link)

While details are still being worked out, Indonesia’s Manpower Minister Muhaimin Iskandar have said that this policy seeks to get employers to consider an Indonesian candidate before a foreign one, especially for professional and managerial posts.

“Employers must ensure that each foreign hire has at least two local deputies or managers to whom he can transfer his expertise or skills. Companies have to explain why only a foreigner can fill the job vacancy and declared what skills and expertise he has that local does not have.”. – ST report

In Singapore, Ministry of Manpower in its press release on 23 Sept 2013 says that MOM expects all firms to consider Singaporeans fairly for jobs, based on merit. All firms are strongly encouraged to advertise their job vacancies and must ensure that jobs advertised are open to Singaporeans.

Changes implemented to the local hiring practice in the announced new framework are as follows:

  • Firms making new EP applications2 must advertise the job vacancy on a new jobs bank administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)3.  The advertisement must be open to Singaporeans, comply with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices4, and run for at least 14 calendar days.
  • These requirements must be met before an EP application is submitted to MOM. These new rules will come into effect on 1 August 2014.
  • Advertising on the jobs bank will benefit both employers and Singaporean job-seekers, as it facilitates better matching of vacancies with job-seekers. Employers will have access to a larger pool of potential candidates. It will also increase the visibility of job openings to all Singaporeans, and will help more to benefit from the better jobs created.

In comparison with Indonesia, Singapore merely requires that the companies must advertise in the jobs bank for at least 14 days before the advertisement can be publicly advertised while Indonesia followed Australia’s strict labor standards in employment policies to protect their local citizens.

With globalisation, many multinational companies are seeking to expand their bases world-wide.  Costs saving, ease of conducting business operations and a safe/stable environment to conduct business operations are their main considerations and not employing their fellow locals in the key positions.

With the ever-increasing numbers of foreigners coming to Singapore to work and companies setting up locally, the changes to manpower guidelines does nothing much but to only inconvenience the employers up to 14 days. After which they are pretty much free to hire foreigners or their own countrymen to work in Singapore at their own discreet.

Having said that, Ministry of Manpower (Singapore) might want to relook on their policies at making concrete changes in the employment policies to ensure that her citizens is given fair considerations for employment before giving the opportunity up to an expat.

It’s a real shame that Singapore had adopted a lesser approach of the manpower issues. Even if the Ministry of Manpower should adopt the same approach like Indonesia did, Singapore need not be worried that foreign investment will take a plunge as Singapore already possess the best attractions for any business that there is.

William is a blogger who blogs at his own blog,

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments