Singapore—Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Jan 19) that the highest priority at the moment is jobs.
This includes keeping Singaporeans in their jobs as well as finding employment for those who need it.
In her post, which had the heading “STRENGTHENING THE SINGAPOREAN CORE,” she wrote that the ministry is giving stronger support to employers in order to develop this core.
Ms Teo mentioned such programmes as the Jobs Support Scheme and Jobs Growth Initiative that ensure that business owners get “generous wage and training support.”
However, she added that employees should also do their part in making sure they exercise fair employment practices including hiring fairly on the basis of merit, which she went on to explain.
“This means that when a job is advertised, the best candidate should be considered. Attributes which are not relevant to the job such as nationality, gender, age, race and disability should not be considerations.”
Ms Teo noted, “When businesses hire fairly and based on merit, they will have access to the widest pool of candidates that can help them succeed. It will motivate their employees to give of their best, knowing that the company practices fair employment. Fair employment is not just right, it is win-win too.“
She further warned against keeping employment to a “closed circle of friends”.
And added that business owners should “ultimately…should keep to the spirit, not just the letter, of the Fair Consideration Framework and the Tripartite Guidelines for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices.”
Ms Teo posted a link to the Joint Statement on Fair Hiring and Employment Practices issued by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and 29 Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) under the TAC Alliance earlier that day.
She wrote that she was heartened that the groups came together to commit supporting fair hiring and progressive employment practices.
The minister added that this is a representation of “the business community’s commitment in preventing workplace discrimination and adopting progressive human resource practices, so as to develop a strong Singaporean core.”
Singapore’s business leaders said in the statement that welcoming global talent is vital for maintaining Singapore’s competitiveness, fair and inclusive hiring practices are a must.
Mr Lim Ming Yan, the chairman of SBF, underlined the necessity of remaining open to global talent, as this would “engender skill transfer that can further develop the local workforce.”
This is part of the nature of competition worldwide, he said.
The SBF chair added that employers need to develop local talent and prepare them for leadership roles.
Mr Lim also commented on the current pandemic, saying it put pressure on the country’s job situation, which makes it even more important that employers assure their workers of their commitment to fair hiring practices.
One part of the joint statement read, “As businesses prepare for a recovery framework from disruption to transition and at a time of economic distress for businesses and their employees, the TACs encourage their member companies to remain committed to recruiting deserving candidates fairly based on merit.”
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