Singapore

Business groups pledge support for fair hiring and work practices

Trade associations and chambers issue joint statement to support developing of 'strong Singaporean core'

Trade associations and chambers (TACs) pledged their support for fair hiring and employment practices yesterday.

In a joint statement released by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), the 29 TACs urged their member companies to "remain committed to recruiting deserving candidates fairly based on merit".

They added that they are guided by the Fair Consideration Framework and the Tripartite Guidelines for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, which underline employers' commitment to developing a "strong Singaporean core".

The 29 TACs represent multinational companies, large local enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The TACs said they believe in three core principles: promoting positive workplace relations, practising fair hiring, and providing development opportunities.

On positive workplace relations, they said employers need to take the lead to build and sustain with their employees a positive workplace environment for all, including one where diversity is celebrated.

Meanwhile, employees will need to collaborate with their employers by "bringing a positive attitude to work each day".

Second, on practising fair hiring, employers must hire the best candidate for every job based on merit, whether within or outside the company.

Employers should also ensure that there is diversity among the global talent hired, "to bring the best perspectives, experiences and support for long-term success". Said the TACs: "Doing so helps promote inclusive integration, equity, and capability development among employees."

Lastly, employers should support the learning and development of employees so they can acquire skills and attributes to do their job and be considered for leadership positions in the future, said the TACs. They should also consider all qualified current employees when looking for candidates for leadership roles, they added.

Employees, meanwhile, should take up development opportunities offered by employers, including accepting overseas work assignments.

Speaking during a media conference, SBF chairman Lim Ming Yan said the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in more pressures on the employment situation in Singapore, prompting the TACs to assure Singaporeans that employers remain committed to fair hiring practices.

He was joined by several heads of TACs at the media conference, including Singapore International Chamber of Commerce chairman Per Magnusson, who said Singapore must continue to allow companies to freely recruit talent based on merit if it wants to remain competitive globally.

"We should remember that 99 per cent, or even more than 99 per cent, of all companies in Singapore actually do hire fairly... We should focus on that majority that does it right," he added.

Employment