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Work pass privileges of Savills Property Management being reviewed after 4th complaint in 2021 of discriminatory tender clauses: Tafep

SINGAPORE — The national watchdog for fair employment said that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be reviewing the privileges given to Savills Property Management to hire work pass holders, after four complaints have been made so far this year against the real estate firm for being discriminatory when recruiting workers.

Work pass privileges of Savills Property Management being reviewed after 4th complaint in 2021 of discriminatory tender clauses: Tafep

Savills is the managing agent of Hillview Heights condominium in Bukit Batok and was called out recently by the Security Association Singapore for issuing a tender for security services that was said to discriminate against workers based on race and age.

SINGAPORE — The national watchdog for fair employment said that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be reviewing the privileges given to Savills Property Management to hire work pass holders, after four complaints have been made so far this year against the real estate firm for being discriminatory when recruiting workers.

Savills is the managing agent of Hillview Heights condominium in Bukit Batok and was called out recently by the Security Association Singapore for issuing a tender for security services that was said to discriminate against workers based on race and age. 

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) told TODAY on Tuesday (Sept 14) that it had strongly recommended to MOM to take action against Savills, and the ministry is undertaking the review.

Tafep said: “This is the fourth time this year that (we have) received a complaint lodged against Savills Property Management for tender documents containing discriminatory clauses.

“In the past three incidents, Savills had subsequently removed the discriminatory clauses after Tafep had asked (the firm) to do so.”

Tafep had asked Savills to attend its Fair Hiring Clinic to better understand the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, but despite receiving repeated counsel and advice on how to improve on the clauses in its tender documents, Savills has again breached the guidelines, it added. 

“Furthermore, Savills has not formally responded to Tafep’s request for an explanation into the latest incident except to ‘bcc’ Tafep when (emailing) its press statement to the media.”

In the latest tender, Savills states in the document that there will be financial penalties of S$100 a shift imposed on the security agency awarded the tender if it fails to provide “a Chinese-speaking guard” for more than six shifts each month.

The condo management may also fine the security agency S$100 each time a guard younger than 21 years old or older than 60 years old is deployed without the management’s approval.

The Security Association Singapore raised the matter to Tafep and MOM after the tender was put online on Sept 3.

Tafep said that it and MOM take a serious view of such discriminatory practices.

“Unless it is a regulatory or legal requirement, including age-related requirements when advertising for job roles is a serious breach of the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices,” it added.

“The reasons for requiring language proficiency for any role should also be clearly stated.”

Last Tuesday, Savills responded to the accusations and said that it was taking steps to ensure all tender documentation reflects current tripartite guidelines on fair employment practices. 

It told TODAY then that the latest tender was “an unfortunate situation created by historical tender documentation language from 2000” and the firm will be reviewing the terms and conditions of the contract for their clients’ approval.

In response to queries about Tafep's latest statement, Savills referred TODAY to its earlier statement on Sept 7.

Related topics

MOM Tafep discrimination security guard condominium Security Association Singapore SAVILLS

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