11 January 2023

Employment Law in Singapore Series Part 5: Fair Employment Guidelines – Recruitment in Singapore 新加坡雇佣法系列 (第五章):劳资政公平雇佣指导原则 – 在新加坡进行招聘

The Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (“FEP Guidelines”), introduced by the Tripartite Partners (i.e. the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”), National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation), set out requirements for all employers in Singapore to consider the workforce in Singapore fairly for job opportunities.

In January 2020, MOM increased penalties for non-adherence to the FEP Guidelines by raising the minimum period of work pass debarment and expanding the debarment scope.

While the FEP Guidelines are not currently legally binding, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on 29 August 2021 the Government’s intention to enshrine the FEP Guidelines into law.

FEP Guidelines 公平雇佣指导原则

One of the key principles of Fair Employment Practices is to recruit and select employees on the basis of merit (i.e. skills, experience or ability to perform the job) and regardless of age, race, gender, religion, marital status and family responsibilities, or disability.

Fair Consideration Framework Job Advertising Requirement 公平考虑框架下的招聘广告要求

To promote fair employment practices and improve transparency in the labour market, employers submitting Employment Pass and S Pass applications must first advertise on MyCareersFuture (https://www.mycareersfuture.gov.sg/) and fairly consider all candidates. Employers must practice fair hiring, and should not engage in unfair practices, such as:

  1. pre-selecting a foreigner and not reviewing applications received on MyCareersFuture; and
    在不审查 MyCareersFuture 网站上收到的就业申请的情况下预先选择聘请外国人;和
  2. posting discriminatory job advertisements.

Job Advertisements 招聘广告

Selection criteria set out in a job advertisement should be related to qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience. An employer should avoid using words or phrases in job advertisements that could be perceived as discriminatory.

Job Application Forms and Job Interviews 求职申请表格及求职面试

An employer’s job application form should only request for information relevant to assessing an applicant’s suitability for a job. The FEP Guidelines state that irrelevant information includes one’s age, date of birth, gender, race, religion, marital status and family responsibilities, and disability.

Should an employer require personal information from the applicant, the employer can ask for said personal information at the time of the job offer. The FEP Guidelines also state that employers should not ask for photographs in job application forms.

Questions related to age, race, religion, gender, marital status and family responsibilities, or disability should also not be asked at job interviews. Instead, the employer should conduct an objective assessment of the applicant by setting out a list of selection criteria relevant to the job to be applied consistently to all candidates and prepare a list of interview questions directly related to the selection criteria identified.
雇主也不应在求职面试中向求职者提出有关其年龄、种族、宗教、性别、婚姻状况和家庭责任方面的问题,也不应询问求职者残疾与否。雇主应列出空缺职位的相关录用标准, 制定与前述标准相关的面试问题列表,并根据前述标准对求职者进行客观的评估。

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This memorandum is only intended as a guide and does not purport to be an exhaustive or conclusive discussion of the matters set out herein and should not be relied on as a substitute for definitive legal advice. Reference should always be made to the applicable statutes, the relevant subsidiary legislations and other applicable guidelines. This memorandum is not to be transmitted to any other person nor is it to be relied upon by any other person or for any other purpose or quoted or referred to in any public document or filed with any governmental or other authorities without our consent in writing. This memorandum is limited to the laws of Singapore. In issuing this memorandum, we do not assume any obligation to notify or inform you of any developments subsequent to its date that might render its contents untrue or inaccurate in whole or in part at such later time. If you would like to discuss the implications of these legal developments on your business or obtain advice, please do not hesitate to approach your usual contact at Insights Law LLC or you may direct the inquiry to our key contacts stated above.