Forum: Putting firms on watch list too reactive

I read with unease that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is embarking on follow-up actions only after the foreign proportion of some companies' workforces has reached alarming levels - as high as more than half of the total workforce (47 employers added to watch list over discriminatory hiring, Aug 6).

One would expect that background checks on matters such as the existing workforce composition in a company would have been done before more work passes are granted.

It would not be unreasonable for MOM to reject work pass applications from a company if the foreign proportion of its workforce has hit, say, 25 per cent of the total. This level should have sounded alarm bells.

Placing companies with potentially discriminatory hiring practices on a watch list appears to be an "after the fact" action, as the foreign workers concerned will already be on board in the companies, limiting the scope of corrective actions that can be implemented.

Hong Chee Meng