I refer to the letter "Tafep job application guidelines are unrealistic (Jan 23)", where the writer asserts that no amount of guidelines will help to change the discriminatory hiring practices of some employers and that social education is the key.
Can we then also remove employment laws altogether since there are employers who flout them?
The key is not whether the guidelines will completely remove discriminatory practices; they are a signal that these practices are unacceptable.
The United States and many European countries have enacted laws against discriminatory hiring practices, but Singapore has only started to establish hiring guidelines.
How did slavery become illegal? It was only after people fought for the rights of slaves that slavery was abolished. If the thinking had been to educate slave owners - because it was their right to own slaves, just as it is the right of employers to hire who they like - and not to enact laws, then slavery might still exist today.
Guidelines may not completely prevent discriminatory hiring, but they could send the right message - that such a practice is unacceptable.