TL;DR – If you have been disseminated at the workplace, you should report it to TAFEP. For NTUC members, you may reach out to TADM@NTUC.
Based on MOM Fair Employment Practices surgery, age-based discrimination was found to be the most common discrimination, followed by pregnancy and mental health conditions. Isn’t this ironic in an ageing society?
Between 2015 and the first half of 2021, TAFEP received an average of 379 workplace discrimination cases each year.
TAFEP and the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices were set up to educate the public and employers on fair hiring practices.
Tackling workplace discrimination
MOM does not tolerate any form of workplace discrimination. The Government’s approach to tackling workplace discrimination is through education and enforcement.
If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, you should report it to TAFEP. When a case of discrimination has been reported, TAFEP will investigate and refer the errant employer to MOM for enforcement.
Discriminatory employers will be banned from hiring new foreign workers or renewing existing foreign workers for a minimum period of 12 months, and up to a maximum of 24 months. In other scenarios, MOM may prosecute discriminatory employers and key personnel. If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to two years of imprisonment and/ or fined up to S$20,000.
Employees should make it known
Discrimination in the workplace can happen between coworkers, in job interviews, or between employees and their employers.
No one would benefit if you kept quiet. Speaking up for yourself or your colleague can alert the management to take action. But you should never create a scene or bring drama to the office. Knowing the right avenues to speak up is important.
If you are a union member working in an ununionized company, you may approach your union leaders or unions to get advice. For NTUC members, you may reach out to TADM@NTUC. If you are not yet an NTUC member, join now to be protected.
NTUC and the unions provide dedicated one-to-one support, including advisory and mediation services to seek recourse for their members.
What employers can do
Employers can pave the way for a fair and inclusive workplace by setting up formalized processes and procedures. Having a structured hiring process that focuses on merits and capabilities instead of looking merely at personal characteristics such as age, gender etc. This will prevent hiring managers from falling into unconscious biases.
Providing employees with an avenue to share their grievances can keep employers accountable while building trust among employees. When employees are heard in a prompt, professional and confidential manner, they will have confidence in the company. And this kind act will go a long way.
Have ideas on how employers can build a more inclusive workplace without discrimination? . Click here to share ideas and career aspirations through the #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations.