Fewer complaints of unfairness at work

THE number of complaints about unfair work practices almost halved last year, with Singapore's anti-discrimination watchdog reporting that more companies are learning to resolve such issues internally.

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) received 259 complaints last yera, down from 475 in 2013.

Most were about hiring practices which disadvantaged Singaporeans as well as discrimination based on age, language or race.

Tafep, which released the statistics in its annual report yesterday, said companies are becoming more progressive and understand how to resolve workplace grievances internally.

It also said workers have been going to the Manpower Ministry's Fair Consideration Department, which was set up last year.

"The progress made by Tafep in raising awareness of fair and progressive employment practices resulted in fewer employees and employers seeking assistance from us," it said.

Greater awareness of fair employment practices has also led to a spike in enquiries on issues such as organising work-life harmony workshops and applying for government grants to get older people and mothers back to work.

The number of such enquiries grew to 1,105 last year, from 579 in 2013.

Tafep's annual report was distributed yesterday at a conference on fair employment practices.

The event at Suntec Singapore Exhibition and Convention Centre was attended by more than 500 employers and union members.

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, the guest of honour, said cases of alleged workplace discrimination attract attention through the media. "However, if we focus on these negative stories, we wrongly cast the workplace as one that is fraught with unfairness and injustice," he said.

Mr Tan urged bosses and companies to avoid being cynical and to work at forging friendships while developing a sense of pride in their professions.

Tafep also said that 3,779 employers pledged last year to treat their workers fairly, up from 2,679 the year before.


This article was first published on Apr 10, 2015.
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