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IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Singapore has increased penalties for discriminating against potential local job applicants and for making false declarations when recruiting and hiring foreign nationals.
What does the change mean? Employers should ensure they are compliant with the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) regulations when recruiting and hiring foreign nationals.
Background: Singapore introduced the FCF in 2014 to combat discrimination against locals in the recruiting and hiring practices of companies based in the country. The government has recently increased penalties for employers and is actively following up on complaints of discrimination against local workers in the recruitment and hiring process. The FCF also addresses discrimination based on other factors such as age and gender.
Analysis & Comments: The Ministry of Manpower updated the FCF earlier this month, and the changes include stiffer penalties for violations. Employers and key personnel face up to two years of imprisonment, a fine of S$20,000 or both for making false declarations. Moreover, the minimum debarment period has increased from six months to 12, and debarment from applying for new work-related permits now extends to renewal applications as well. Companies may be debarred for up to 24 months in egregious cases. Since 2014, Singapore’s Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices has taken action against employers in 680 cases, and this month one high-profile company has been charged with making declarations on an employment pass application.
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