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Spotlight on APAC Series: Singapore

In our spotlight on APAC series, we round up the latest developments across Asia Pacific. In this post, we look at the impending introduction of the Workplace Fairness Legislation (WFL) in Singapore, expected in the second half of 2024.

The upcoming Workplace Fairness Legislation (WFL) in Singapore, expected in the second half of 2024, will focus on prohibiting discrimination in the workplace and strengthening social cohesion by addressing unfair treatment at workplaces. While it does not have a direct impact on the current work pass regulatory framework, it’s important to note that existing Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) employment practices will be strengthened and complemented by the WFL, potentially impacting the broader recruitment and Immigration landscape indirectly.

Here’s what we know about the WFL and its potential connection to the Employment Pass application processes:

Focus of the WFL:

  • Prohibition of discrimination: The WFL will explicitly define and prohibit discrimination on various grounds, including age, sex, family status, race, nationality, and mental health. This could create a fairer recruitment environment for jobseekers.
  • Grievance handling: Employers will be required to establish clear procedures for employees to report and address concerns about workplace discrimination. This could potentially lead to more transparent and accountable recruitment practices.
  • Protection from retaliation: Employees who report discrimination will be protected from any form of retaliation by their employers, including unfair dismissal or salary deductions. This could encourage individuals to raise concerns about potential bias in the hiring process.

Impact on work pass applications and job postings:

While the WFL doesn’t directly address work pass applications or job postings, it could indirectly influence how employers approach these aspects:

  • Recruitment practices: Employers might need to review and revise their recruitment processes to ensure they are free from any discriminatory practices. This could involve avoiding language in job postings that suggests preference for certain nationalities or age groups.
  • Compliance: Employers might need to update their job postings and recruitment materials to comply with the WFL’s definition of fair practices. This might involve removing discriminatory language and ensuring inclusivity in the job descriptions.

Current Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) job advertisement posting requirement:

To foster fair employment practices and enhance transparency in the Singaporean labour market, employers seeking to hire foreign talent must first advertise open positions on MyCareersFuture and give fair consideration to all applicants, regardless of nationality. Furthermore, employers are strongly encouraged, even for positions exempt from mandatory advertisement, to utilize MyCareersFuture to access a wider pool of qualified candidates, contributing to a more inclusive workforce.

It’s important to note that the WFL’s specific regulations and how they will be enforced are still under development.  We recommend staying updated with official announcements from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) as we approach the launch date of the WFL.

For more information on these updates or for assistance in planning your global immigration needs, please contact [email protected] or [email protected].

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