The Straits Times published an article on Wednesday highlighting how the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) has dealt with some of the unfair hiring practices in companies recently (‘How Tafep dealt with unfair hiring and retrenchment practices‘, 21 Oct).
TAFEP was set up in 2006 by the tripartite partners (Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress, and Singapore National Employers Federation) supposedly to promote the adoption of fair, responsible and progressive employment practices.
In one case, a finance and insurance company was caught pre-selecting a foreign candidate for a managerial role at its Singapore office, after a whisleblower , the firm’s human resources manager subsequently filed a complaint with TAFEP against the company.
It was found that while the company posted a job advertisement on the national Jobs Bank for the minimum period of 14 days as stipulated under the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF), the company went on to sign the employment contract with the pre-selected foreign applicant even before the job advertisement on the Jobs Bank had expired.
Furthermore, it was found that the work experience and educational qualifications of the pre-selected foreigner, a British national based at the company’s London office, also did not meet the advertised requirements.
The advertisement received more than 60 applications, with 28 fulfilling the advertised requirements, but none of the applicants were invited for interviews.
The case was subsequently referred to MOM but MOM decided to suspend the work pass privileges of the offending firm for only 6 months.
Chan: We’ll continue to bring in foreign talents to help create opportunities for Singaporeans
Meanwhile, Trade and Industry Development minister Chan Chun Sing has said that Singapore will continue to bring in foreign talents “in a calibrated manner” so as to help create more opportunities for Singaporeans.
Speaking at a virtual forum organised by Standard Chartered Bank in Sep, Chan addressed the issue of foreign talents which has been much debated recently, noting that “this scrutiny is not unique to Singapore”.
He explained, “Every country facing economic slowdown and recession will have elements questioning the balance between locals and foreigners in the job market.”
By bringing in the foreign talents, Chan also asserted that it will enable the businesses to plan for future, access the best minds, and allow Singaporeans to learn from the best, and thus create more opportunities for the country and the people.
“Let me be clear. We want the world’s best and brightest to be with Team Singapore – to augment our skills and capabilities, competing on our side rather than against us, and ultimately, to benefit Singaporeans, not to substitute or to hurt them,” he noted.
In any case, if it wasn’t for the whisleblower, the said firm mentioned earlier would have successfully recruited the British national from its London office to Singapore.
It’s not known how this British national who did not even meet the job advertisement requirements, in the parlance of Chan, could be considered “world’s best and brightest” to work with Team Singapore.