Oral Answer by Minister of State for Manpower Ms Gan Siow Huang to PQ on Employment Discrimination
NOTICE PAPER NO. 296 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON 4 MARCH 2021
QUESTION NO. 800 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Mr Leon Perera
To ask the Minister for Manpower for each of the past three years, where penalties were imposed for breaches of the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (a) what is the percentage breakdown of the cases related to different bases of discrimination such as nationality, race and gender; (b) what is the number of firms which have been penalised; (c) whether any penalties have been levied that do not involve the curtailment of foreign work passes and, if so, how many of such cases; and (d) whether harsher penalties have been imposed on firms which are repeat offenders as compared to first-time offenders.
- Over the past three years, TAFEP handled an average of 400 discrimination cases annually, including those arising from proactive checks by MOM on discriminatory hiring practices.
- In about 50 cases each year, the employers were found to be in breach of the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP) and had their work pass privileges suspended. About 60% of such cases involved nationality-based discrimination, and about one-third involved gender and age discrimination, split about equally between the two. The remaining cases involved other types of discrimination such as race, marital status or family responsibilities.
- Apart from suspending work pass privileges, MOM also issues warnings to employers for less severe breaches, such as lapses in their HR practices which resulted in miscommunication and discrimination in the recruitment process. In these cases, TAFEP will step in and advise the employers on the required rectifications. MOM issued an average of 40 warnings annually.
- MOM takes a serious view of discrimination at the workplace. Over the past 3 years, there has not been a repeat offender.