SINGAPORE - A logistics firm has become the first company to be charged in court with making a false declaration after changes to the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF).
Ti2 Logistics was charged in the State Court on Tuesday (Jan 14) with making a false declaration to the Controller of Work Passes in an employment pass application, stating that it had considered local candidates fairly before trying to employ a foreigner.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which was reported earlier this month to be updating the FCF, on Tuesday released details of the changes, which include the prosecution of employers and key personnel for making false declarations on fair consideration, and longer debarment duration for companies, which prohibit them from applying for new work passes or renewing existing employment passes. The changes took effect earlier this month.
Those convicted of false declaration under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act may be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $20,000, or both.
MOM found that Ti2 Logistics falsely declared in an employment pass application that it had interviewed two Singapore citizens and considered local candidates fairly for a business development manager position.
However, the firm had already pre-selected the employment pass applicant and had no intention to interview any local candidates, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
According to charge sheets seen by The Straits Times, the application was submitted to MOM’s Work Pass Division in July 2019 for a Zhou Jianxin.
Ti2 Logistics has been debarred from hiring new foreign workers or renewing existing work passes for 24 months.
Four other firms have also been given stiffer penalties after the updates to the FCF.
Solar equipment manufacturer Meyer Burger was debarred from hiring new foreign workers or renewing existing work passes for 24 months after it was found to have pre-selected an employment pass applicant and failed to interview local applicants who had responded to its Jobs Bank advertisement for a process engineer position.
The firm’s human resources team, which is not based in Singapore, interviewed the foreign applicant and found him suitable for the position in Singapore, but the applicant himself did not meet the criteria specified in the Jobs Bank advertisement.
MOM noted that while firms are free to locate their HR functions abroad, they must be fully compliant with Singapore’s laws and regulations and the ignorance of the HR team overseas is not a mitigating factor.
In another case, employment agency Meow Services was debarred from hiring new foreign workers or renewing existing work passes for 12 months for having discriminatory hiring practices.
The firm posted a discriminatory job advertisement looking for male production operators, which runs foul of the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices. Meow Services was also issued demerit points for breaching the Employment Agencies Licence conditions.
All employment agencies are expected to be familiar with Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices and brief and train their staff accordingly, MOM said. A spokesman added that the ministry is looking at strengthening measures against discriminatory employment agencies in the next phase of updates to the framework.
Nihon Premium Clinic, which provides general medicine and surgery services, has been debarred from hiring new foreign workers or renewing work passes for 12 months after it put out a job advertisement with critical missing information.
The advertisement did not describe key criteria for candidates, which resulted in none of the Jobs Bank applicants being suitable for consideration.
Information and communications technology firm Tarantula Global Holdings was also debarred from hiring new foreign workers or renewing employment passes for 12 months after it was found to have pre-selected an employment pass applicant before a job advertisement for the position was placed on the Jobs Bank.
The company did not consider or interview any Jobs Bank candidates.