Written Answer by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Tripartite Advisory on Managing Workplace Harassment
NOTICE PAPER NO. 927 OF 2017 FOR THE SITTING ON OR AFTER 06 NOV 2017
QUESTION NO. 1589 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Mr Kok Heng Leun
To ask the Minister for Manpower how many employers have implemented the Tripartite Advisory for managing workplace harassment, both in having a policy explicitly defining harassment including sexual harassment, and setting out how it will be handled, as well as providing training to workers on how to prevent and respond to it.
- The Tripartite Advisory on Managing Workplace Harassment was issued in December 2015 to serve as a practical guide for employers and employees to better prevent and manage harassment at the workplace. The advisory helps foster workplace environments where harassment is not tolerated, and educates workers who face harassment on where to seek help including remedies available under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA).
- Tripartite advisories are meant to provide a guide for employers and employees, and are not prescriptive. We do not track how many companies have adopted the measures suggested in the advisories, including that on Managing Workplace Harassment.
- In the last three years, fewer than 5 of the 800 of the complaints lodged with the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, or TAFEP, involved allegations of workplace harassment. Each of these complaints were looked into, with TAFEP advising the complainant on possible means to seek recourse. TAFEP also followed up with the employers, for substantiated complaints, to highlight the feedback received and advise them to take corrective actions where necessary.
- On an ongoing basis, NTUC, SNEF and TAFEP conduct regular courses to help employers adopt policies to prevent and manage workplace harassment. More than 450 company representatives have been trained over the last two years.
- MOM and TAFEP will continue to monitor the situation and take each report of alleged workplace harassment seriously. We urge workers who face workplace harassment to get help promptly. This includes reporting to the authorities such as the Police for criminal offences or the Court for civil remedies.