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Written Answer by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on the Government’s position on employers requiring prospective employees to declare if they have a history of mental illness and whether the Government should lead by example by removing such declarations from public service employment application forms for non-sensitive positions.

Notice Paper No. 430 Of 2016 For The Sitting On Or After 07 November 2016

Question No. 300 For Written Answer

MP: Daniel Goh Pei Siong


To ask the Minister for Manpower what is the Government’s position on employers requiring prospective employees to declare if they have a history of mental illness and whether the Government should lead by example by removing such declarations from public service employment application forms for non-sensitive positions.

Answer

  1. The Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices emphasises the importance of recruiting and selecting employees on the basis of merit regardless of age, race, gender, religion, disability or family status. Job application forms should only ask for information that is relevant to assessing an applicant’s suitability for the job. 
  2. The Government requires candidates to fill in a short application form that assesses their suitability for the job. Declaration of any existing medical conditions, including mental illness, does not disqualify a candidate from being considered for a position in the Public Service. Public agencies will select the candidate with the best overall fit for the job, taking into account his skills and qualifications, relevant work experience and personal attributes. 
Last Updated: 07 November 2016