Workplace discrimination: Greater clarity needed

While the latest government efforts to ensure locals get a fair chance at jobs and promotions are laudable, there are grey areas that need to be addressed.

Writing the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices into law is a good step towards minimising discrimination, says the writer. But several questions and challenges remain, such as how to reliably detect discrimination in practice and punish firms which do so accordingly.
ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
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In his National Day Rally speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke at length about the anxieties that Singaporeans had over foreigners. PM Lee noted that while most companies comply with the guidelines on fair treatment laid out by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep), not every company does so.

"A few have not been fair employers. They hire from their own countries, using familiar links and old boys' networks, rather than on merit. And they give foreigners the jobs and opportunities, and only make token gestures with locals. That naturally causes problems."

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