Singapore — On Aug 19, Senior Minister of State Zaqy Mohamed shared his view on the Tangs Saga that has gained traction in the last few days. The incident involved a promoter at the department store being asked to remove her Tudung to work on the premises.
In response to this incident, Mr Zaqy stated that workplaces should be a safe space for everyone, “regardless of cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds.”
He wrote: “Religious attire should generally be allowed at workplaces, unless employers have uniform, or dress code requirements which are suited to the nature of their work, or for operational and safety reasons.”
Mr Zaqy urged employers to be more sensitive to cultural and racial differences, to “be thoughtful of the policies and practices they set, including inclusivity at their workplaces.”
One way to put this into practice is to regularly review policies and regulations of the various stakeholders, according to Senior Minister. He also stated that employers should communicate uniform policies and dress codes clearly to their employees, job seekers and other stakeholders.
Mr Zaqy reminded that the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP) has stated that recruitment and hiring should be based on merit. He also shared that TGFEP highlighted another major retail store that had reviewed its uniform and dress code policy to include headgear, and will be reaching out to relevant parties in the Tangs saga to investigate the issue.
Netizens have shown support towards the Senior Minister of State. Many have applauded him for reinforcing anti-discriminatory practices in the workplace, agreeing that inclusivity of all races and religions should be upheld in the workplace.
However, some have also stated that they would like to see this inclusivity extended to areas like the civil sector and in schools and have urged Mr Zaqy to be the voice of change.
You may view Mr Zaqy’s full post here. -/TISG
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