Singapore HR Compliance Guide for professionals published by HRBoss, provides human resource personnels with a comprehensive manual to identify resources needed to implement fair hiring processes within organizations, especially in an age that demands higher transparency in workings.
In the light of changing regulations in Singapore, this country specific HR compliance guide not just looks at how companies can fine-tune their recruitment processes to be free from discrimination, but also showcases ways to track these processes to ensure compliance with regulations.
The Singapore HR Compliance Guide for professionals and in-house recruiters provides up-to-date information on the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP), while touching aspects of the Job Bank being launched in August 2014 by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
According to recent rules passed by the Manpower Ministry in Singapore, it requires employers to consider Singaporeans fairly before hiring. In a statement issued to the press, Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower said, “The framework is not about ‘Hire Singaporeans First, or Hire Singaporeans Only’. What the government is doing is to help them get a fair opportunity.”
What is the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF)?
The Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) is a set of new regulations legislated by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in order to encourage firms or employers to consider Singaporeans fairly for all jobs before hiring foreigners under the Employment Pass (EP). FCF indicates a change to current Human Resources (HR) practices as firms are now required to advertise job vacancies on a national job bank before submitting an EP application.
The Singapore government has been largely successful in attracting foreign talent into Singapore as various incentives and policies have been set in place to attract foreigners in a bid to boost economy and fertility rates.
Enhanced EP Qualifying Requirements
From January 2014, the qualifying salary for new EP applications will be raised from $3,000 to $3,300. Applicants will have to earn a salary of at least $3,300 or more per month, depending on qualifications and experience:
- Young graduates from good educational institutions can qualify if they earn at least $3,300
- Older applicants will have to command higher salaries to qualify, commensurate with the work experience and quality they are expected to bring.
Employers need to advertise job vacancies on the job banks for minimum 14 days before they can apply for an Employment Pass. The maximum time within which employers can apply for an Employment Pass (EP), post closing date of the job application is three months.
Furthermore, there will be additional scrutiny for firms with discriminatory HR practices. Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will identify firms that have the potential to improve their hiring and career development practices and these firms may be asked to supply additional information such as:
- Organization charts with nationality information
- Recruitment processes
- Staff grievance handling procedures
- Framework for staff progression
- Plans to develop local internal staff to take on higher roles or reduce reliance on EP holders
If firms are not receptive towards improving their recruitment and training practices, additional requirements may be imposed by MOM, such as requiring the firm to:
- Attest that the firm will not displace any similarly employed Singaporean within 60 calendar days before or after applying or renewing EPs
- Display a fact-sheet at the firm’s workplace containing key information submitted to MOM
Unresponsive firms would be under greater scrutiny and there will be a longer review period for their EP applications. Work pass privileges may also be curtailed. However, exemptions are provided to smaller firms with less than 25 or fewer employees and those jobs which pay a fixed monthly salary of $12,000 and above, will be exempted from the advertising requirements for practical reasons.
However, if complaints are received of nationality-based or other discriminatory HR practices, these firms will attract additional scrutiny and may have their work pass privileges reduced. Close to 100 companies were caught by MOM for having discriminatory job advertisements last year.
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