The Ministry of Manpower has announced measures to ensure fair employment opportunities for Singaporeans, including two main proposals:

  • MOM has introduced the following additional "company related" criteria that will be taken into account in assessing work pass applications:
    • how strong the "Singaporean Core" is in the company;
    • if the company has a weak "Singaporean Core", whether it has a commitment to nurture and strengthen this in the future; and
    • how relevant the company is to Singapore's economy and society.
  • The role of the Tripartite Alliance of Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) is to be enhanced. The TAFEP will be the body responsible for assessing the additional "company-related" criteria. At TAFEP's recommendation, "triple weak" companies may be put on a watch list, and if such companies do not show progress, their work pass privileges can be suspended.

There will also be additional support for "triple strong" companies. MOM will take proactive steps to identify and partner "triple strong" companies. MOM will also launch new support programmes like the Human Capital Partnership Programme to help "triple strong" companies nurture and develop local talent into regional and potentially global talent.

Actions for employers

Companies should conduct an assessment of their hiring and staffing practices to ensure that they do not fall foul of these rules.

Companies with a strong "Singaporean Core" can expect greater support from the MOM in further developing the role of Singaporeans within their organisations.

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Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is licensed to operate as a foreign law practice in Singapore. Where advice on Singapore law is required, we will refer the matter to and work with licensed Singapore law practices where necessary.