What is the change? Workforce Singapore has begun requesting specific information from companies that seek to obtain employment passes about applicants who applied for jobs that were advertised through the JobsBank.

What does the change mean? The change follows the Ministry of Manpower’s removal of a question on the Employment Pass Online application that had asked employers to indicate the number of applicants who have applied for jobs. It appears that Workforce Singapore, previously known as Singapore Workforce Development Agency, is now stepping in to gather similar information directly from employers.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment passes.
  • Who is affected: Employers completing the mandatory Fair Consideration Framework recruitment questions when applying for employment passes.
  • Business impact: Employers should be prepared to answer detailed questions about local job applicants when seeking to fill a position with a foreign national applying for an employment pass.

Background: The Ministry of Manpower removed the question about the number of job applicants from the Employment Pass Online application form earlier this month. Officials provided no information about their reason for doing so or what the long-term impact would be for employers. Since then, Workforce Singapore has begun contacting companies going through the Employment Pass application process, asking specific questions about people who had applied for jobs through the JobsBank. These questions generally include applicants’ names, whether they were interviewed and whether they were offered a job or were rejected.

BAL Analysis: The change is consistent with efforts to protect Singapore’s local workforce and ensure that employers are exercising fair employment practices and giving local workers proper consideration. Employers who have advertised on the JobsBank should anticipate the possibility that Workforce Singapore will contact them seeking specific information about their recruitment activities. BAL will continue to monitor this situation and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Singapore. For additional information, please contact

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