Fewer complaints of unfair work practices

Amelia Tan

SINGAPORE- The national anti-discrimination watchdog has received fewer complaints about unfair work practices in 2014, as more companies learn how to resolve these issues internally.

In 2014, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) received 259 complaints, almost half of the 475 made in 2013.

Most complaints were about hiring practices which disadvantaged Singaporeans as well discrimination based on age, language and race.

Tafep, which released the statistics in its annual report on Thursday, said companies are becoming more progressive and understand how to resolve workplace grievances internally.

"The progress made by Tafep in raising awareness of fair and progressive employment practices resulted in fewer employees and employers seeking assistance from us," said Tafep.

Greater awareness of fair employment practices has also led to a spike in enquiries on issues such as organising work-life harmony workshops and applying for government grants to get older workers and mothers back to work.

These enquiries grew to 1,105 in 2014, up from 579 the year in 2013.

Tafep's annual report was distributed on Thursday at a conference on fair employment practices. The event at Suntec Singapore Exhibition and Convention Centre was attended by more than 500 employers and union members.

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, the guest-of-honour, said cases of alleged workplace discrimination attract attention through the media.

"However, if we focus on these negative stories, we wrongly cast the workplace as one that is fraught with unfairness and injustice," he said

Mr Tan urged bosses and companies to avoid being cynical and work at forging friendships while developing a sense of pride in their professions.

Tafep also said that in 2014, 3,779 employers pledged to treat their workers fairly, up from 2,679 the year before.