How Tafep dealt with unfair job practices

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) handles issues such as workplace harassment and unfair contractual terms, including liquidated damages and restraint of trade.
The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) handles issues such as workplace harassment and unfair contractual terms, including liquidated damages and restraint of trade.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

1. AGE DISCRIMINATION

A security agency posted a vacancy for a security officer position, calling only those under 50 years old to apply. It had its work pass privileges suspended after Tafep received a complaint from a prospective candidate.

The agency had claimed that the age requirement was due to safety reasons, as candidates had to undergo a certification course for fire and hazmat emergencies.

As there were no legal age requirements for the job or the certification, Tafep asked the agency to remove the job ad, sign up for the Tripartite Standards workshop on recruitment practices, and post an apology. The company complied. The case was referred to MOM, which found that the agency did not have valid reasons for imposing the age requirement and suspended its work pass privileges for 12 months.

2. NOT CONSIDERING SINGAPOREANS FAIRLY

A finance and insurance firm pre-selected a foreign candidate for a managerial role at its Singapore office. A HR manager at the same firm filed a complaint with Tafep.

Tafep found that while the firm posted a job ad on the MyCareersFuture portal for the minimum period of 14 days stipulated under the Fair Consideration Framework, the pre-selected applicant had signed the employment contract before the ad had expired.

The work experience and educational qualifications of the pre-selected applicant also did not meet the advertised requirements.

The ad received over 60 applications, with 28 fulfilling the advertised requirements, but none was invited for an interview.

The case was referred to MOM, which suspended the firm's work pass privileges for six months.

3. UNFAIR RETRENCHMENT PAYOUTS

A non-unionised insurance firm reviewed its compensation plans for retrenched staff following Tafep's intervention, after it was made known that the company had capped the retrenchment payout at 12 years of service.

Tafep found that out of more than 40 laid-off employees, about 15 per cent would be affected by the cap, and advised the company on the importance of providing fair retrenchment benefits.

The company removed the 12-year cap and provided a lower quantum beyond 12 years of service without a cap.

It also engaged an outplacement agency and worked with NTUC to find jobs for affected staff.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2020, with the headline 'How Tafep dealt with unfair job practices'. Subscribe