Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has added 47 more employers to the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) Watchlist. These employers' workforce profiles have indicated that they may have discriminatory hiring practices, the MOM stated in a press release yesterday (5 August).

Of these 47, 30 are in the financial services and professional services sectors, while 17 are in a variety of sectors, such as administrative and support services, manufacturing and education.

Employers on the list will have their Employment Pass (EP) applications closely scrutinised, and those who are recalcitrant or uncooperative will have their work pass privileges cut back. 

The latest additions to the list comprise a mix of large and smaller firms

According to MOM, the 47 additional employers on the watchlist comprise a mix of large and smaller firms –with the largest employing close to 2,000 PMETs. These employers hire some 2,000 EP holders, and more than 2,800 local PMETs collectively. While these firms were supporting local PMET employment, their workforce profiles raise concerns, when compared to industry peers, the Ministry noted.

  • Employers include banks and fund managers, management consulting firms, and firms that provide project management and engineering services, of which a number were placed on the FCF Watchlist because of "exceptionally high shares of foreign PMETs" as compared to their industry peers. 
  • As an example, 18 of these firms have foreigners making up more than half of their PMET workforce.

Additionally, the MOM highlighted that all 30 employers from the financial services and professional services sector have hired a "high concentration" of PMETs from single nationalities - with one bank, for instance, having one nationality make up almost two-thirds of its PMET workforce.

On this, MOM said: "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."

Apart from these additional 47 firms, the Ministry has also identified 240 firms via data analytics for further investigation of possible pre-selection of foreigners, or not adhering to the spirit of the FCF job advertising requirement.

To date, the MOM has scrutinised a total of more than 1,200 employers under the FCF since 2016; 3,200 EP applications have since been rejected or withheld by MOM, or withdrawn by employers.

Over the same time period, employers on the FCF Watchlist have hired more than 4,800 Singaporean PMETs.

Commenting on the findings in a Facebook post, Patrick Tay, Assistant Secretary-General, NTUC, commended the "firm and concrete action and scrutiny" taken against such companies'. He shared: "(It) goes to show that such malpractices still abound and that more robust measures such as publishing the names of these errant companies on the watchlist, reviewing/removing the exemptions from the Fair Consideration Framework and other more resolute measures (are) to be considered to weed out such (actions) and to strengthen the Singaporean Core."

Photo / 123RF

Human Resources Online is on Telegram! Follow us @humanresourcesonline or click here for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region.