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47 employers on watchlist for possible discriminatory hiring practices

The Manpower Ministry said that the 47 are in addition to the 1,200 employers that were previously on the watchlist, and that they will have their Employment Pass (EP) applications closely scrutinised

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Another 47 employers have been placed on the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watchlist for potentially discriminatory hiring practices, said the Manpower Ministry (MOM) in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 5).

The MOM added that the 47 are on top of 1,200 employers previously put on the watchlist, and that they will have their Employment Pass (EP) applications closely scrutinised, and those who are recalcitrant or uncooperative will have their work pass privileges cut back.

Out of the 47, 18 firms have foreigners comprising more than half of their PMET workforce.

In its statement, the MOM also noted that out of the 47 firms, 30 are in the financial services and professional services sectors, and the rest are in administrative and support services, manufacturing and education.

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They comprise both large and small companies, with the largest employing almost 2,000 professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

The MOM explained that these firms were put on the watchlist because of their exceptionally high shares of foreign PMETs compared with their industry peers.

“We will subject their hiring to closer scrutiny to ensure that there is no nationality bias against locals, which is unacceptable and not in line with fair, merit-based hiring,” it said.

Employers found guilty of workplace discrimination will not be able to renew the work passes of existing employees during the period of debarment. In the past, debarment applied largely to new work pass applications.

Errant employers also cannot apply for new work passes for at least 12 months – up from the previous minimum of six months. The debarment period can extend to 24 months for the most egregious cases.

Netizens who commented on the issue on social media felt that more should be done.

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