Firms must advertise all S Pass jobs on portal for at least 28 days before hiring foreigners

MOM said employers will have to advertise jobs on the portal for at least 28 days before they can apply for a new EP or S Pass for a foreign candidate, from Oct 1, 2020. PHOTO: SCREENSHOT FROM MYCAREERSFUTURE.SG

SINGAPORE - Rules regarding the advertising of jobs are being tightened so that Singaporeans have greater access to the vacancies up on offer.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday (Aug 27) that firms will have to advertise jobs on the portal for at least 28 days, up from 14 currently, before they can apply for a new Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass for a foreign candidate from Oct 1.

These changes under the Fair Consideration Framework are aimed at giving local job seekers more time to respond to job openings and for employers to seriously evaluate their applications, said the ministry in statement.

Currently, the advertising requirement only covers EP-level jobs. It applies to employers with at least 10 employees, but does not include jobs to be filled by intra-corporate transferees or short-term vacancies of up to one month.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said the rule is being extended to S Pass jobs because Singaporeans working in sectors that have been most affected by Covid-19, such as hospitality, tend to be trying to return to S Pass equivalent jobs.

"We think it will make a meaningful difference to the profile of displaced workers who are seeking to get back into work," she told reporters over video conference on Thursday.

She also said her ministry will pay closer attention to companies where there is an over-concentration of EP or S Pass holders from a single source country.

Singaporeans have noticed this happening in certain companies, departments and industries, and it has become a source of concern, she noted.

There are two main reasons why an over-concentration should be avoided, said the minister.

Firstly, Covid-19 has shown that borders may suddenly close and if a firm has a very high concentration of staff from particular countries, it could be putting itself in a very risky position, she said, adding that this is the same rationale for diversifying supply lines.

It also has to do with the fabric of society, and the sense of comfort people feel whether in the workplace or in the community, said Mrs Teo.

"Singapore has always been multiracial, Singapore has always been multicultural,and having that rich fabric is important. So if you have in certain companies or industries a very high concentration of one (nationality), this doesn't feel the same as what we have come to be familiar with about Singapore," she said.

MOM said employers whose professional, managerial, executive and technician (PMET) workforce profiles suggest a bias against locals will be put on the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watchlist and have their EP and S Pass applications subject to greater scrutiny.

The ministry said it will engage an expanded group of employers to review their hiring practices before they are placed on the watch list. These will include firms whose Singaporean core has been weakening or whose EP and S Pass workforce are overly concentrated from a single source.

So far this year, 90 employers have had their work pass privileges suspended because of FCF infringements, said the ministry.

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