10 firms temporarily barred from hiring foreigners after discriminatory ads

PHOTO: 10 firms temporarily barred from hiring foreigners after discriminatory ads

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has taken action against 10 companies for using discriminatory recruitment advertisements. The companies will be required to put up public apologies on their websites for 30 days.

They are also not allowed to hire foreign workers for 6 months from the time they put up their apology statements.

Since March 2013, MOM has found 12 companies guilty of not abiding the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices issued by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP).

Under the Tripartite Guidelines, employers who advertise a position requiring a specific attribute, which may be viewed as discriminatory, should ensure that the attribute is indeed a requirement of the job. Employers should also state the reason for the requirement in the advertisement. For example, words or phrases that exclude Singaporeans or indicate preference for non-Singaporeans and those that exclude or indicate a preference for a certain age group or gender should not be used in job advertisements.

The 10 companies could not provide valid justifications for restricting their recruitment to exclusive groups. All the firms have since removed the discriminatory terms from their original advertisements. Expedia Singapore and Incofood Singapore were investigated by MOM in March 2013.

MOM said in a statement that it expects all employers doing business in Singapore to comply with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, and put in place fair employment practices.

Companies and employment agencies can also approach TAFEP for advice or assistance in complying with the Guidelines.

Here are guidelines provided by TAFEP on what is acceptable in a job advertisement:

What is acceptable in a job advertisement

  • Words or phrases that exclude Singaporeans or indicate preference for non-Singaporeans should not be used.
    Not Acceptable:
    •Non-Singaporeans preferred •Singaporeans and Malaysians preferred •Singaporeans and Malaysians welcomed •Singaporeans and Filipinos (or other nationalities) • Employment Pass/S Pass/Work Permit/Dependant’s Passes/Long Term Visit Passes Holders only
  • Acceptable:
    •No mention of any nationality •Only Singaporeans
  • If a job entails proficiency in a particular language, employers should justify the need for the requirement.
    Not Acceptable:
    •Mandarin is an advantage •English/Chinese (Mandarin) speakers •Speak Mandarin
    •Putonghua an advantage
  • Acceptable:
    Chinese-language teacher for pre-school centre, good credit in ‘O’ Level Chinese
    •Translator for a leading Malay sports magazine. Proficiency in Malay is a must.
  • Words or phrases that suggest preference for job candidates of a particular age group should not be used.
    Not Acceptable:
    Below 30 only •Youthful working environment•Age 25-30 only •Fresh graduates are welcome to apply
    Acceptable
    •Older workers welcomed •Job is suitable for older workers •3 years of relevant experience •No experience required
  • Race should not be a criterion for the selection of job candidates as multi-racialism is a fundamental principle in Singapore.
    Not Acceptable:
    •Chinese preferred •Prefer Malays
  • Religion is unacceptable as a criterion for recruitment except in cases where employees have to perform religious functions as part of the job requirement.
    Not Acceptable:
    •Christians preferred • No Muslims. Work involves handling pork and beef
    Acceptable:
    •Chinese restaurant needs chef. Requires handling of pork and beef
  • Words or phrases that suggest preference for job candidates of a particular gender should not be used.
    Not Acceptable:
    •Strong guys needed •Preferably female
    •Female working environment
  • Acceptable:
    •Women’s fashion boutique requires sales staff to model clothes while on the job
    • Physical work required
  • Generally an irrelevant criterion in employment as jobs can be performed equally well by either married or single persons.
    Not Acceptable:
    Preferably singles
    Acceptable:
    Frequent overseas travelling is expected