29 trade associations and chambers (TACs) in Singapore, led by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), have pledged their support for a joint statement on fair hiring and employment practices. The statement was developed by SBF and other participating organizations based on the government-driven Fair Consideration Framework and the Tripartite Guidelines for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, and calls on companies to recruit candidates fairly based on merit and to developing their workforce.
During the announcement of the joint statement on January 19, SBF Chairman Lim Ming Yan explained that the move was prompted by the economic pressure that employers had come under last year, and the statement is intended to send the message that Singapore employers will continue to uphold fair hiring practices.
He said: “The Singapore business community plays a vital role in our economy in fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce. This joint statement underlines the importance for businesses to embrace fair hiring and employment practices and provides sustainable pathways to building a strong workforce for successful business in Singapore.”
The joint statement sets out three principles that companies are encouraged to follow: promoting positive workplace relations in the form of workplace diversity and equal opportunity, practicing fair hiring that is based on merit and encompasses diversity of global talent, and providing development opportunities by supporting employees in acquiring needed skills and developing local talent.
The competition between local and global talent has long been a contentious issue in Singapore's job market, with allegations emerging regularly that employers prioritize nationality over qualifications when hiring. While the government does not very strictly regulate hiring issues, it has over the years set out requirements such as the Tripartite Guidelines for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (released in 2006) and the Fair Consideration Framework (released in 2014) to address concerns.