Singapore’s Fair Consideration Framework makes it tougher for overseas workers

Singapore’s Fair Consideration Framework is new hiring regulations to remain open to overseas candidates without marginalizing its own pool of professionals, managers and executives. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has certain criteria’s for the firms to Consider Singaporeans Fairly for Jobs.

With effect from 1 January 2014, the qualifying monthly salary for fresh Singapore Employment Pass applications will be bumped up to S$3,300, from S$3,000. This applies to young applicants who have graduated from good educational institutions. Older applicants will be required to command higher salaries that are commensurate with their work experience.

From 1 August 2014, Singapore companies must advertise job vacancies for PME (professional, managerial and executive) positions for at least 14 calendar days before seeking candidates from overseas and submitting new Employment Pass applications. The vacancies must be for jobs that pay less than S$12,000 a month and be advertised on a jobs bank managed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency. This then gives employers access to a database of local candidates who are actively seeking jobs, and vice versa, increase the visibility of available jobs to job seekers.

In addition, Singapore is applying a system of checks and balances on firms which may have been practicing questionable hiring policies. By Q1 2014, MOM and other government agencies will identify firms for additional scrutiny if there are repeated complaints of nationality-based or discriminatory HR practices. Firms will also be audited based on their hiring and career development processes. If they demonstrate a disproportionately low concentration of Singaporeans at the PME level compared to other firms in the same industry and do not adopt the hiring norms recommended by FCF, MOM may curtail their work pass privileges.

Satish Bakhda, Head of Operations at Rikvin, a licensed employment agency with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), said, “This system will inevitably reveal whether there truly is a shortage of talent that companies require or dispel the myth that there really is no such talent available within Singapore. Singaporean PMEs who are looking for jobs will be able to tap this jobs bank and the authorities can also respond more effectively or design better training and educational programs to meet industrial demands.”

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