47 more employers on watch list for potentially discriminatory hiring practices

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore
FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has placed another 47 employers on the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watch list for potentially discriminatory hiring practices.

In a media statement on Wednesday (5 August), the ministry said that these employers will have their Employment Pass (EP) applications closely scrutinised. Those who are recalcitrant or uncooperative will have their work pass privileges cut back.

MOM said that the employers were put on the watch list because of their exceptionally high shares of foreign professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) when compared to their industry peers.

“While these firms were supporting local PMET employment, their workforce profiles raise concerns when compared to industry peers,” the ministry said.

30 employers from financial, professional services

Of the 47 employers added to the watch list, 30 are in financial services and professional services sectors. The other 17 are in a variety of sectors, such as administrative and support services, manufacturing and education.

Collectively, these companies hire about 2,000 EP holders and more than 2,800 local PMETs.

MOM said that all 30 of the financial and professional services employers have a “high concentration of PMETs from single nationalities”.

For instance, in one wealth management firm, almost three-quarters of its PMETs are of the same nationality.

“We will subject their hiring to closer scrutiny to ensure that there is no nationality bias against locals, which is unacceptable and not in line with fair, merit-based hiring,” said MOM.

240 more firms to be further investigated

The ministry added that another 240 firms were identified through data analytics for possible pre-selection of foreigners or not adhering to the spirit of the job advertising requirement under the framework, and will be further investigated.

The FCF watch list was set up in 2016 to identify employers that are suspected of having discriminatory hiring practices.

More than 1,200 employers have been scrutinised under the framework since it was set up. In all, 3,200 Employment Pass applications have been rejected or withheld by MOM, or withdrawn by employers.

Over the same time period, employers on the watchlist have hired more than 4,800 Singaporean PMETs.

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