Rules that ensure bosses do not discriminate against Singaporean workers by hiring foreigners will be updated this year.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said on Facebook yesterday: "Expect stronger deterrence for discrimination against Singaporeans when hiring, but also stronger support for employers who are committed to giving our people a fair chance."
Further details on the review of the Fair Consideration Framework will be disclosed in two weeks, a spokesman for the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) told The Straits Times.
Mrs Teo also outlined the ministry's milestones last year, including adopting a 10-year road map to raise the retirement and re-employment ages. She also noted that workplace fatalities have declined consistently since 2015 and have been at a record low of 1.2 per 100,000 workers for the past two years.
Mrs Teo added: "Everyone, including lower-wage workers, needs fair chances to progress. In a time of business disruptions worldwide, all of us need fair opportunities to re-skill and stay employed. In the unfortunate event of a retrenchment, we need fair payouts."
The Fair Consideration Framework was introduced in August 2014 on the back of a slowdown in the inflow of foreign workers after Singaporeans voiced unhappiness about them taking away good-paying professional, managerial and executive jobs from locals.
It stipulated that firms with more than 25 employees must advertise professional, managerial and executive posts that pay less than $12,000 a month.
The advertisements need to run for at least 14 days before companies can apply to MOM for an Employment Pass (EP) for a foreigner.
The framework was last updated in July 2018 to cover firms with more than 10 employees and jobs that pay less than $15,000 a month.
Firms that favour foreigners in hiring are put on a watchlist and their applications for EPs are scrutinised more closely.
The ministry has placed about 600 firms on the watchlist since 2016 and about 2,300 EP applications have been rejected or withheld or withdrawn by employers.
Around 260 firms have been taken off the watchlist after their hiring practices improved.