23 May 2013

Revised Employer Guidelines for Job Postings

Article on - Revised Employer Guidelines for Job Postings

Employers, take note: in a bid to take a tougher stand against discriminatory hiring practices, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP) recently updated their guidelines for posting job advertisements. Companies who don’t comply may risk having their company’s work pass privileges suspended by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Need more convincing? The Straits Times recently reported that two companies in Singapore were penalised by MOM for including discriminatory phrases in their job advertisements.

A spokesman from MOM said that both companies’ work pass privileges were suspended and advised to remove the inappropriate advertisements immediately. The underlying principle behind this move is to help maintain a strong Singaporean core in our workforce, through attracting and developing Singaporeans for job positions based on merit.

With the tightening effects on foreign labour requirements felt across industries, employers should take into serious consideration whether their job postings meet the new TAFEP guidelines:

Race should not be explicitly listed as a criterion for employment as this goes against fundamental pillars of multi-racial Singapore.
• Unacceptable: “Only Chinese” or “Malay Preferred”.
• Acceptable: “Cook required to handle and prepare pork”, or “Experience in preparing halal dishes required”.

If the job requirements state that employees are required to perform religious functions, these requirements should be presented clearly and objectively.
• Unacceptable: “Only Muslims allowed”.
• Acceptable: “Familiarity and experience in preparing halal food required”.

In order to reduce ambiguity and minimise any possible misunderstanding between employers and job applicants, employers need to justify the need for certain language proficiencies in their job advertisements.
• Unacceptable: “Excellent command of English and Chinese”.
• Acceptable: “Bilingual in both English and Chinese, to function effectively as a translator for Chinese-speaking clients”.

Age should not be stipulated as a requirement. This is to keep the recruitment process as transparent and objective as possible.
• Unacceptable: “Aged 25-40 only” or “Fresh Graduates only”.
• Acceptable: “5 years of relevant working experience required” or “No working experience required”.

Do not use gender-specific designations or suggest a preference for either gender. If the practical requirements of the job stipulate a need for employees of a specific gender, these should be explicitly justified.
• Unacceptable: “Preferably Female”.
• Acceptable: “Women’s Fashion Boutique requires female sales assistant to model clothes while on the job.”

Marital Status
This is an irrelevant criterion in employment postings since most, if not all, jobs can be performed equally well by married or single individuals.
• Unacceptable: “Preferably Single”.
• Acceptable: “Required to work long hours” or “Frequent overseas travel to liase with clients is to be expected”.

By taking note of these guidelines for non-discriminatory job advertisements, employers can now ensure that their recruitment processes remain fair and meritocratic.

For more information, please visit the TAFEP website here: http://www.tafep.sg/resources.asp?subid=2

Contributed by JobsCentral Pte Ltd