Parliament: Low incidence of workplace discrimination based on medical conditions

Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan told Parliament that there were three cases of discrimination against employees with medical conditions, out of 2,100 complaints on unfair employment practices in the past four years.
Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan told Parliament that there were three cases of discrimination against employees with medical conditions, out of 2,100 complaints on unfair employment practices in the past four years.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Employers here largely do not discriminate against employees with medical conditions, statistics from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) show.

Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan told Parliament on Tuesday (Jan 9) that there were three such complaints, out of 2,100 complaints on unfair employment practices examined by MOM the and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) in the past four years.

But after checks, it was determined that no actual discriminatin had happened in the three cases, and they had arisen out of miscommunication and misinformation, said Mr Tan.

In response, Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC), who filed the parliamentary question on the issue, said some residents he met, who have recovered from mental illnesses or who are on dialysis, have expressed worries that their medical conditions may prejudice employers.

To this, Mr Tan said they should report such cases of suspected discrimination to MOM and Tafep and "if really the discrimination is found to be justified, MOM will take strong actions to make sure that the employers will adopt proper recruitment and employment practices".

Nevertheless, he added, MOM and Tafep will monitor the situation closely and actively engage employers to encourage fair and progressive employment practices.

He cited the Tripartite Standard on Recruitment Practices, launched last November, that has signed up more than 240 employers with over 245,000 employees.

Under the new standard, employers have to commit to using only relevant and objective selection criteria to short-list job applicants.