The Ministry of Manpower announced new rules that require employers to consider Singaporeans fairly before hiring skilled professional foreigners.
The new Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) will affect employers who apply for Employment Passes (EP), the work passes for foreign professionals working in managerial, executive or specialized jobs (PMEs). However, the ministry stressed that the rules are not meant to be a “Hire Singaporean First” policy but about fairness in hiring.
Under the new rules, firms making new Employment Pass applications must advertise the job vacancy in a new jobs bank, administered by the Singapore Workforce and Development Agency (WDA), for at least 14 days.
The advertisement must be open to Singaporeans. It should include information such as job title, salary range and skills required. Employers can concurrently advertise on other platforms or job portals.
Employers are encouraged to keep records of their interview process as proof that they have done due diligence in trying to look for a Singaporean worker. If an Employment Pass is still needed, the employer will have to make a statutory declaration that an ad with the jobs bank has been placed.
The ministry and other government agencies will also identify firms which have a disproportionately low level of Singaporean PMEs or have had repeated complaints of nationality-based discrimination. These firms will be asked to provide the ministry with information, such as organization charts with nationality information, recruitment processes and staff grievance handling procedures. If firms are not responsive towards improving their recruitment and training processes, the ministry may impose additional requirements.
With effect from 1 August Protected content , firms submitting new Employment Pass (EP) applications will have to comply with the advertising requirements.
However, small firms with 25 or fewer employees and jobs which pay a fixed monthly salary of $12,000 or more will not be subjected to the advertising requirement. Separately, from January, the qualifying salary for new EP applications will be raised from $3,000 to $3,300.
Firms will be given some lead time to transit for their existing pool of Employment Pass holders. Existing EP holders whose passes expire before January will receive a one-time renewal based on the existing EP criteria. Those whose passes expire between 1 January and 30 June Protected content receive a one-time renewal of up to one year based on the existing EP criteria. After 30 June Protected content , all existing EP holders will have to meet the new criteria.
In the meantime, S passes or Work Permits are not included in the new rules, because there are factors such as levies and dependency ratio ceilings that spur firms to search for suitable Singaporeans before applying for an S pass or Work Permit.
- the article is written by Channel NewsAsia/ac/ir
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