Logistics firm fined $18,000 for making false declaration on work pass application

Ti2 Logistics' office on Jan 14, 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The first firm to be prosecuted for making a false declaration on a work pass application under the enhanced Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) has been fined $18,000.

Ti2 Logistics sole director Francis Chiang Tin Yui pleaded guilty to one charge under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday (March 10).

The company had falsely declared in its work pass application that it had considered local candidates fairly before deciding to hire a foreigner who, in fact, had been pre-selected for a position.

In addition to the $18,000 fine, MOM has barred the company from hiring foreign employees for 24 months, and revoked the pre-selected employee's work pass with immediate effect.

On June 26, 2019, Ti2 Logistics submitted an Employment Pass (EP) application for Zhou Jianxin, a pre-selected foreign candidate for a general manager position. The firm indicated in the application that it had interviewed one foreigner for the position.

The EP application was rejected by the ministry as Ti2 Logistics failed to comply with the requirements of FCF, which mandates that companies must practice fair hiring considerations, including advertising the position on national jobs bank MyCareersFuture.sg.

Ti2 Logistics posted an advertisement on the jobs bank for a business development manager role on July 10, 2019, to circumvent the FCF requirement, MOM said.

Investigations found that 22 local candidates responded to the advertisement by submitting their resumes to Ti2 Logistics via the portal, but the company did not review and consider any of the local candidates.

The company later re-submitted the EP application for the pre-selected foreign candidate on July 26, 2019.

In the work pass application, the company falsely declared that it had interviewed two Singaporeans and one foreigner for the position, and considered local candidates fairly.

Ms Christine Loh, director of employment standards enforcement at MOM's labour relations and workplaces division, said that Ti2 Logistics' conviction is a strong reminder to employers that the ministry does not tolerate any form of workplace discrimination.

"It is unacceptable for employers to treat the job advertising requirement under the FCF as a paper exercise. We will continue to be vigilant on discriminatory employers, and take stern action against those who try to circumvent our fair hiring requirements," she said.

The FCF was updated in January this year with stiffer penalties to deter workplace discrimination.

These include the prosecution of employers and key personnel for making false declarations on fair consideration, and longer debarment duration for companies, which prohibits them from applying for new work passes or renewing existing employment passes.

Employers are required to make accurate, complete and truthful declarations in their work pass applications, and those who fail to do so can be fined up to $20,000, jailed for up to two years, or both, for each charge of false declaration.

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