Parliament: MOM survey shows 80% of job seekers do not feel discriminated by race, gender or marital status

Most employees feel fairly treated by organisations in terms of employment terms and benefits, training, career development and performance evaluation, according to findings from a 2018 Ministry of Manpower survey. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - More than eight in 10 job seekers in Singapore do not feel that their gender, race, religion, nationality, marital status or number of children stopped them from finding work.

Most employees also feel fairly treated by organisations in terms of employment terms and benefits, training, career development and performance evaluation.

These findings from a 2018 Ministry of Manpower (MOM) survey were disclosed in Parliament on Monday (Feb 3) by Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad in his reply to Workers' Party Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera.

Mr Zaqy also said complaints on workplace discrimination dropped from 580 in 2015 to 200 in 2018, making up less than 1 per cent of all complaints received.

He added that employment rates of Singapore residents aged 55 to 64 increased from 57 per cent in 2009 to 68 per cent in 2019.

At the same time, women residents aged 25 to 64 also saw their employment rates climb from 64 per cent to 73 per cent.

Mr Zaqy said the survey was nationally representative and covered about 3,100 individuals and 3,400 establishments.

The MOM would, on occasion, publish a paper on fair employment, and such a paper would be out in the later part of this year, he added.

Recent studies, however, show a slight rise in perception of discrimination in Singapore.

A 2018 survey of about 4,000 Singapore residents showed that almost 60 per cent of Malays and about 56 per cent of Indians perceived discriminatory treatment at work.

The figures are a slight increase from the 58.7 per cent of Malays and 52.6 per cent of Indians in a similar survey done five years earlier, in 2013.

Both surveys were done jointly by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and racial harmony group

In the latest study, the perception of discrimination when applying for a job was four times higher for minorities than for the Chinese, and more than three times higher when seeking a promotion.

An MOM study reported last month that in 2018, the unadjusted median monthly salary of a woman working full-time was 16.3 per cent less than her male counterpart, a slightly bigger gap than 16 per cent in 2002.

Higher-paying roles were also dominated by men.

In a separate end-2017 IPS study of around 2,000 residents, 66 per cent disagreed with the statement that "older workers do not face age discrimination when looking for work".

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