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.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All work-related passes for foreign nationals.
  • Who is affected: Companies recruiting and hiring for jobs in Singapore.
  • Business impact: Companies found in violation of FCF regulations may face fines and may be debarred for up to 24 months from hiring new employees or renewing work-related passes for current foreign employees.
  • Next steps: Companies must ensure their HR departments carefully follow all regulations related to recruiting and hiring foreign nationals in Singapore.

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.

Source: Deloitte. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2020. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.