Implementing fair employment practices will soon become more important than ever for employers due to the impending enactment of the Workplace Fairness Legislation.
The Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness has released the interim report on their recommendations for the Workplace Fairness Legislation.
As the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP) are being retained and enhanced to work jointly with the legislation, it presents a clear opportunity for business and human resources (HR) leaders to take stock and evaluate if your organisation’s fair employment practices adhere to the prevailing TGFEP.
Here are two key areas of organisational policies and practices that you can start reviewing:
1. Fair recruitment practices
When it comes to fair recruitment, a candidate’s skills, experience, and ability to perform the job should be considered, instead of using personal attributes that are irrelevant to the job, such as race, age, gender, religion, marital status and family responsibilities or disability.
For instance, when you write a job advertisement, do you already have these processes in place?
- Ensuring that the selection criteria listed are related to the job requirements
- Ensuring all personnel involved in writing the job advertisement (including staff outside of your HR team) are aware of the need to adhere to the TGFEP
- Having a comprehensive vetting process in place to check for words or phrases that could be perceived as discriminatory before posting them online
Another fundamental aspect of fair recruitment is complying with existing manpower regulations such as the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF). Here are some important questions that you need to ask:
- Is your organisation’s recruitment policy and process in line with the FCF requirements?
- Does your recruitment process consider the workforce in Singapore fairly for job opportunities by advertising job vacancies on the MyCareersFuture portal, and
- Does your process fairly consider all candidates who met the selection criteria?
With legislation, employers will be required to put in place processes that ensure recruitment practices are carried out in a fair and merit-based manner.
To learn more about how to implement fair recruitment practices, you may access the ‘Introduction to Fair Hiring’ e-learning module.
2. Clear grievance handling procedures
Another key recommendation in the interim report is for employers to put in place grievance handling processes to resolve grievances and disputes at the workplace. These processes help preserve workplace harmony and promote amicable resolution of disputes.
Here are some questions to help you gauge your organisation’s preparedness in managing employee grievances:
- Do you currently have a proper process in place for employees’ concerns to be heard, looked into and resolved in a fair and timely manner?
- How is the process communicated to the employees? (e.g., written in the employee handbook, code of conduct, or company intranet)
- Do your employees know whom to approach should they wish to lodge a grievance report or file a discriminatory complaint?
- How are you ensuring the confidentiality of the complaint and treating it with sensitivity?
- Are the affected employees informed as to when the outcome will be communicated to them?
To learn more about how to implement a proper grievance-handling process in your workplace, please refer to the Grievance Handling Handbook.
Taking stock of your organisation’s fair employment practices
Enacting the Workplace Fairness legislation is an important step forward in upholding workplace fairness and entrenching fair employment standards in Singapore. In rooting out discrimination, employers have to put in the effort to implement formal policies and processes that comply with the legislation requirements.
These are some resources to help prepare your organisation for the upcoming legislation:
- Take a quick self-assessment of your organisation via the Fair and Progressive Employment Index (FPEIndex), to find out how well your organisation adheres to the TGFEP. Review the insights and recommendations provided to identify where your organisation can close the gaps and create a truly conducive workplace.
- Refer to the list of practices found in the Tripartite Standards on Recruitment Practices and Grievance Handling as an additional guide in the implementation of fair employment practices.
- Reach out to TAFEP if you require specific assistance or advice regarding the TGFEP; you may make an appointment to speak to our consultants via the Employer Advisory Service.
Implementing fair employment practices is vital to building an engaged and motivated workforce that will work towards your organisation’s goals. Take your first step today.