Last Tuesday (11 Feb), the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) put up a full page advertisement on Straits Times highlighting how it has been ensuring fair employment opportunities for Singaporeans.
TAFEP is an agency set up by Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) to promote the adoption of fair and responsible employment practices in Singapore’s workplace.
To show how it has been helping Singaporeans, TAFEP used a wealth management financial institution as an example.
TAFEP said that the wealth management company has come under the scrutiny of MOM after it was discovered that the company has an “exceptionally high proportion” of foreign PMETs working in the company.
The employer was also suspected to have “unfairly favoured” job applicants who were foreigners. The company was then placed on MOM’s watchlist.
Thereafter, TAFEP said it started to engage the company. It warned the company that if the company did not practise fair consideration, its work pass privileges may be curtailed by MOM.
As a result of the company on MOM’s watchlist, its EP applications were subject to “additional scrutiny” by MOM. This affected the company’s ability to recruit foreigners.
Instead of merely focusing on expatriate clients, the company realised “the value of expanding its business to include the local market” as well, TAFEP said.
Consequently, the company engaged a public relations agency to raise its profile locally, hoping to attract Singaporeans to join the company.
TAFEP said, “Through these efforts, the employer succeeded in hiring local wealth managers who were sent for training at its head office. In total, the employer hired about 20 more Singaporeans, thereby reducing its reliance on foreign professionals.”
“Furthermore, Singaporeans hires with higher potential were also identified for career development by pairing them with experienced managers for mentorship,” it added.
“The employer was committed to hire fairly, change its business model and implement staff development plans. After more than a year of sustained efforts, the employer was able to exit the FCF Watchlist.”
TAFEP also warned that it is always watching out for employers with discriminatory hiring practices. “Employers that violate the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices will be barred from hiring new foreign workers or renewing existing ones for a minimum of 12 months, up to a maximum of 24 months,” it said.