About one-third of the cases involved gender and age discrimination, split about equally between the two.

Singapore's Minister of State for Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Gan Siow Huang, took a series of questions in Parliament on discriminatory hiring practices.

She shared that over the past three years, Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) handled an average of 400 discrimination cases annually, including those arising from proactive checks by MOM on discriminatory hiring practices.

A majority of these cases (about 60%) involved nationality-based discrimination, and about one-third involved gender and age discrimination, split about equally between the two. The remaining cases involved other types of discrimination such as race, marital status or family responsibilities.

In terms of the penalties, in about 50 cases each year, the employers were found to be in breach of the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP) and had their work pass privileges suspended. 

Apart from suspending work pass privileges, MOM also issues warnings to employers for less severe breaches, such as lapses in their HR practices which resulted in miscommunication and discrimination in the recruitment process. In these cases, TAFEP will step in and advise the employers on the required rectifications. MOM issued an average of 40 warnings annually.

Gan added: "MOM takes a serious view of discrimination at the workplace. Over the past three years, there has not been a repeat offender." 

Photo / Minister Gan Siow Huang at the launch of the Institute for Adult Learning's Five-Year Strategic Roadmap

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