Written Answer by Minister for Manpower to PQ on Ageist Language in Job Advertisements
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1673 OF 2023 FOR THE SITTING ON OR AFTER 6 FEBRUARY 2023
QUESTION NO. 4157 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Ms Mariam Jaafar
To ask the Minister for Manpower whether any review has been done on (i) the prevalence of ageist language in job advertisements and (ii) the impact in any of these advertisements on discouraging older workers from applying.
1. MOM conducts regular surveys to measure the prevalence of workplace discrimination based on the lived experiences of our employees and jobseekers. We have not specifically reviewed the prevalence and impact of ageist language in job advertisements. However, we do track complaints in this area. Between 2018 and 2022, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) received an average of 49 complaints per year on age-related discriminatory job advertisements. Such job advertisements are unacceptable as they deny jobseekers of fair opportunities.
2. All employers are to abide by the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP), which set out accepted standards of fair and merit-based employment. As laid out in the TGFEP, words or phrases that suggest a preference for job candidates of a particular age group should not be used in job advertisements unless there is a sound justification. MOM has taken enforcement action against employers for placing job advertisements that discriminate based on age or show an unjustified preference for a particular age group.
3. Jobseekers who encounter discriminatory job advertisements can approach TAFEP for advice and assistance.