About 350 firms are on watchlist for unfair hiring policies: Manpower Minister

About 350 firms are on watchlist for unfair hiring policies: Manpower Minister

singapore central business district
People walking in Singapore's Central Business District. (File photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: About 350 companies are on the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watchlist for discriminatory hiring practices, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in Parliament on Monday (Aug 6).

These firms tend to be from the administrative and support services, construction, education, infocomm and professional services sectors. Occupations involved range from architects and engineers, business professionals, IT professionals and managers with many being paid between S$3,000 and S$10,000, Mrs Teo added.

Under the framework, all companies are required to consider Singaporeans fairly for job opportunities. 

"Firms on the FCF watchlist will have their Employment Pass applications scrutinised and consequently experience longer processing times," Mrs Teo said.

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) engages such firms to offer assistance to improve their hiring practices. 

To date, more than 2,000 Singaporean professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) have been hired by firms on the FCF watchlist. 

Mrs Teo also responded to Member of Parliament (MP) Patrick Tay on why the watchlist has not shrunk or expanded despite the widening of FCF requirements introduced at the Committee of Supply debate. 

"The number of companies on the watchlist is largely stable. We continue to work with each one of them to improve their hiring practices. As and when we are told of companies that have practices that are suspected to be discriminatory, TAFEP will engage the companies," Mrs Teo said. 

"The number that we work with is not a fixed target but it does give an indication of the intensity of effort that we are applying," she added. 

Nominated MP K Thanaletchmi asked if firms on FCF watchlist are still eligible for Government funding such as the Adapt & Grow scheme. 

"Whilst these firms may be on the watchlist - and we're working with them to improve their hiring practices - in the meantime, they are also still employers of Singaporeans. We don't want to unfairly penalise their Singapore employees whilst they're going through this process," Mrs Teo explained.

"If the schemes can benefit our citizens, I don't see why we should prevent them from doing so," she added. 

Source: CNA/fs/(gs)

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