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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo to PQ on complaints received on foreigners in financial institutions

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1989 OF 2020 FOR THE SITTING ON 18 FEBRUARY 2020

QUESTION NO. 3473 FOR ORAL ANSWER

MP: Mr Lim Biow Chuan

To ask the Minister for Manpower how many complaints have been received in the last three years regarding excessive foreigners working in financial institutions.

Answer

  1. Over the last three years, MOM and TAFEP received 65 complaints or feedback regarding the hiring of foreigners in financial institutions. In most cases, the complainants did not provide specific information for follow up action. Of those that did, MOM and TAFEP investigated thoroughly and took appropriate actions, including withholding of work pass privileges.

  2. Locals hold more than four out of five jobs paying $3,600 or more (the minimum qualifying salary for Employment Pass) in the financial sector.  This ratio has held steady over the last three years, even as the workforce in the sector grew.

  3. While most financial institutions and hiring managers understand the need to hire based on merit, there is a minority of employers that seek to circumvent our fair hiring requirements. MOM does not tolerate any form of workplace discrimination, and has recently raised penalties across the board for all forms of discrimination. Beyond the employers, MOM will also take individual employees to task if they were involved in any unfair hiring practices. Beyond complaints, MOM has enhanced our detection of unfair hiring behaviour through data analytics.

  4. We urge members of the public to report to MOM or TAFEP if they come across workplace discrimination, and provide specific information so that we can take action. The identity of whistleblowers will be kept confidential.