Saturday 30 November 2013

Ministry of Manpower takes action against 15 companies for discriminatory job advertisements

10 are job agencies; they now cannot hire new foreign workers for 6 months
By Amelia Tan, The Straits Times, 29 Nov 2013

THE authorities have cracked down on 15 companies for discriminatory hiring practices, with six of them explicitly stating a preference for Filipino job candidates.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday that the 15 - 10 of which are employment agencies - have been barred from hiring new foreign workers for six months. They have also posted online apologies, as ordered by MOM.

This is the largest number of companies which have been hauled up by the ministry for discriminatory job ads.

In March, MOM took action against two firms, followed by 10 more companies which were punished in September.

In the latest cases, six companies placed job advertisements that specified a preference for Filipinos to fill positions such as chefs, sales consultants, guest relations officers and audit executives.

Restaurant La Fondue, for example, said it was offering "high salary for Filipino chefs only". Employment agency Singapore Human Resource Consultants indicated in its ads that applicants "must be Filipinos". The ads were posted on Filipino community portal

When contacted by The Straits Times, several human resource experts said some employers prefer Filipinos for their strong command of English and their willingness to do shift work.

Filipino applicants are typically willing to be paid relatively low salaries, they added. For example, an accountant with about five years of experience will take a $3,000 monthly salary, but Singaporeans will ask for about $5,500.

However, the HR experts expect job ads stating a preference for foreigners will be few and far between in future, as MOM has made it costlier and more difficult to hire foreigners in the past year.

"Gone are the days when it was cheap to hire a foreigner. It makes more sense to hire a local now," said Rikvin recruitment consultancy manager Satish Bakhda.

MOM recently announced new rules to make companies consider Singaporeans first for professional jobs.

From August next year, companies will have to post ads on an online government-run jobs bank for at least 14 days before they can apply for an Employment Pass for a foreigner.

Besides stating preferences for specific nationalities, the 15 companies also flouted fair employment guidelines by listing requirements such as gender and age in ads.

The five companies on the list of 15 are: La Fondue, Linny Service and Supplies, IPM Global Solutions, Link-8 Security and Chiu Teng Enterprises.

The 10 employment agencies are: Wanco Manpower, RGF HR Agent (S), Cayman Management Consultants, Renaissance Management Services, Talent2 Singapore, Singapore Human Resource Consultants, Imag Global Resources, New Channel Manpower International, Ministry of Recruiters and Search Network.

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