A logistics firm has become the first company to be charged in court for falsely declaring it had considered local candidates for a job fairly before trying to employ a foreigner.
Ti2 Logistics was charged in the State Courts yesterday with making the false declaration to the Controller of Work Passes in an employment pass application.
The firm is facing prosecution in court after changes to the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF).
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo yesterday shared details of the changes, which include the prosecution of employers and key personnel for making false declarations on fair consideration, and a longer debarment duration for companies. Debarred firms cannot apply for or renew work passes. The changes took effect earlier this month.
Those convicted of a false declaration under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act may be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $20,000, or both.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) found Ti2 Logistics had falsely declared that it interviewed two Singapore citizens and considered local candidates fairly for a business development manager post.
However, the firm had already pre-selected an employment pass applicant and had no intention to interview any local candidates, the ministry said in a statement.
According to charge sheets seen by The Straits Times, the application was submitted to MOM's Work Pass Division in July last year for a Zhou Jianxin. If found guilty, Ti2 Logistics may be fined up to $20,000.
MOM has debarred Ti2 Logistics from hiring new foreign workers and 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 given a debarment period of 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 advertisement on national jobs platform Jobs Bank for a process engineer position.
The firm's human resources team, which is based overseas, interviewed the foreign applicant and found him suitable for the position here, but the applicant did not meet the criteria specified in the ad.
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, MOM said.
In another case, employment agency Meow Services was debarred from hiring new foreign workers and renewing existing work passes for 12 months after it posted a discriminatory ad for male production operators, which runs afoul of the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices.
All employment agencies are expected to be familiar with the guidelines and brief and train their staff accordingly, MOM said.
Mrs Teo said the ministry will be looking into how intermediaries, such as employment agencies, can be better regulated to ensure fair employment practices.
Nihon Premium Clinic, which provides general medicine and surgery services, was debarred for 12 months after it put out a job ad without describing 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 for 12 months after it was found to have pre-selected an employment pass applicant before an ad for the position was placed. It did not consider or interview any Jobs Bank candidates.