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MOM charges first company for false declaration on fair hiring for Singaporeans

On Tuesday (14 January), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has charged one logistic company in court for making a false declaration in an Employment Pass (EP) application by noting that it had properly considered Singaporean candidates before employing a foreigner.

This is the first company in Singapore that has been charged by MOM for making false declaration.

Ti2 Logistic, a firm in the shipping industry, appeared to falsely declare that it had interviewed two Singaporean applicants and fairly considered local individuals for the business development manager position in the company, the court documents revealed.

However, the company knew that this was not true.

The court documents also stated that Ti2 Logistics made the false declaration when it submitted an EP application for a person named Zhou Jianxin on 26 July 2019 to MOM’s Work Pass Division via the Employment Pass Online portal.

The logistics company is being represented by lawyer Tan Bar Tien.

If the company is found guilty, it could be fined up to S$20,000 for committing an offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

Under MOM’s Fair Consideration Framework, employers who are submitting EP applications are first required to advertise the job vacancies on the Jobs Bank, administered by Workforce Singapore.

Companies with over 25 employees are required to advertise professional managerial and executive (PMET) jobs that pay less than S$12,000 a month for at least 14 days before they apply to MOM for an EP for a foreigner.

In July 2018, the Framework was updated to cover firms with more than 10 employees and jobs that pay less than S$15,000 a month.

Apart from that, companies should also demonstrate that they have fairly considered all jobseekers, barring exemptions.

Companies that seem to favour hiring foreigner over local talent will be placed on an MOM watchlist and have their EP applications for foreign workers scrutinised more closely.

This Framework was introduced in August 2014 to combat workplace discrimination. It came into effect following the decline of new foreign talent into the country after Singaporeans aired their dissatisfaction over foreigners taking away good PMET jobs from locals.

MOM also announced early this month that the Framework will be updated this year to ensure that Singaporean workers are not discriminated against in hiring who favour foreign talent.

Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said on Facebook on 1 January, “Expect stronger deterrence for discrimination against Singaporeans when hiring, but also stronger support for employers who are committed to giving our people a fair chance.”

She shared that MOM is ‘rededicating’ itself to strengthening fairness at the workplace as a value and a virtues.

“With fairness as a foundation, we can have more progressive workplace practices,” wrote Ms Teo.

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