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Firms must now post job listings for Singaporeans on MOM site

SINGAPORE — Employers will have to advertise job vacancies on a new government jobs bank for at least 14 days before they apply to hire an Employment-Pass (EP) holder, starting from August 1 next year.

SINGAPORE — Employers will have to advertise job vacancies on a new government jobs bank for at least 14 days before they apply to hire an Employment Pass (EP) holder, starting from Aug 1 next year.

The new rule, applicable to jobs paying up to S$12,000 a month, is aimed at making firms consider Singaporeans fairly for a job, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Firms that do not comply will not have their application for an EP approved. Those that have disproportionately low numbers of Singaporeans at the PME level or are repeatedly complained of nationality-discrimination in their hiring will come under “additional scrutiny”, said the MOM.

This means they must provide information on their recruitment processes and organisation charts with nationality information, among other things. Consistently errant firms may have their work pass privileges curtailed.

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said: “These changes are part of a broader effort to ensure that good jobs continue to be created for Singaporeans.

“The framework is not about ‘hire Singaporeans first or hire Singaporeans only’.”

Separately, the MOM also raised the qualifying salary for new EP applications by S$300 to S$3,300.

The new pay threshold will kick in for new applicants from January next year.

KEY FEATURES OF THE FAIR CONSIDERATION FRAMEWORK (FCF)

• Under the FCF, firms making new EP applications must have advertised the job vacancy on a new jobs bank administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). The advertisement must have been open to Singaporeans, comply with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices and run for at least 14 calendar days before an EP application can be made.
• Small firms with 25 or fewer employees, and those jobs which pay a fixed monthly salary of S$12,000 and above, will be exempted from the advertising requirement. However, if complaints are received of nationality-based or other discriminatory HR practices, these firms will attract additional scrutiny and may have their work pass privileges curtailed.
• MOM and other government agencies will also identify firms that may have scope to improve their hiring and career development practices. For example, these firms may have a disproportionately low concentration of Singaporeans at the PME level compared to others in their industry or have had repeated complaints of nationality-based or other discriminatory HR practices.
• Such firms will be asked to provide additional information to MOM such as organisation charts with nationality information, recruitment processes, staff grievance handling procedures, a framework for staff progression; and plans to develop local internal staff to take on higher roles or reduce reliance on EP holders.
• Firms that are not responsive towards improving their recruitment and training practices, may be asked to attest that the firm will not displace any similarly employed Singaporean within 60 calendar days before or after applying or renewing EPs, and display a factsheet containing key information submitted to MOM at its workplace.
• Unresponsive firms should expect greater scrutiny and a longer review period for their EP applications. They may also have their work pass privileges curtailed.

ENHANCED EP QUALIFYING REQUIREMENTS

• From January 2014, the qualifying salary for new EP applications will be raised from S$3,000 to S$3,300, in line with rising salaries. Applicants will have to earn a salary of at least S$3,300 a month or more, depending on qualifications and experience

• Young graduates from good educational institutions can qualify if they earn at least S$3,300, and older applicants will have to command higher salaries to qualify, commensurate with the work experience and quality they are expected to bring.

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