On 5 Mar 2018, Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower (MOM), said that 500 companies who had been unfairly favouring foreigners in their hiring were being put on Fair Consideration Framework watchlist.
Mr Lim commented that those companies were of weak relevance to Singapore’s economy, therefore they will have their Employment Pass (EP) applications subjected to closer scrutiny.
Companies who had nurtured a strong Singaporean core will not have to worry about this.
1,900 EP applications were either rejected or withheld by MOM since Feb 2016. Out of those, many were applications were withdrawn by the companies.
Companies including recruitment agencies who were pushing out a majority of the foreign workers were also considered in the watchlist.
Mr Lim said: “They have the pre-conceived idea that local PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) are either unable or unwilling to do the job, so they write them off without even considering them fairly.”
More than 2,200 Singaporean PMETs were hired after the companies received warnings about the watchlist.
Organizations like Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) and the institutes of higher learning worked with the watchlisted companies to help with improving their human resource practices for hiring local PMETs.
Since then, 150 companies have improved and removed from the watchlist.
It is unsure if this method of forcing foreign companies to hire Singaporeans will make the locals working in the said company feel at home with their colleagues.
However, to the fellow Singaporeans, have more jobs out there is still good news nonetheless.