|Employers urged to adopt fair employment practices|
|Tuesday, 10 February 2009 08:00|
And if there is a need to shed jobs, they should ensure that retrenched workers are given fair compensation and assistance to look for jobs.
Tripartite partners made this call on Tuesday at an inaugural conference on fair employment practices.
The Tripartite Centre for Fair Employment has been getting about 70 complaints a year against errant employers since it was formed two years ago. And more complaints on unfair work practices are expected as the recession deepens.
The government and labour movement said it is important for companies to act fairly towards their employees as they consider cost-cutting measures.
Halimah Yacob, deputy secretary-general, NTUC, said: "It is absolutely important that if companies are going to downsize or they have to retrench, they have to communicate with employees that sense of fairness. It is not only important for those that are being retrenched but those that are left behind."
And fair practices will go a long way to help companies attract talent.
Acting Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong said: "Those who put in place enlightened hiring practices now will be more attractive to talent and jobseekers when the economy recovers and the job market tightens."
1,000 employers have signed a pledge to commit themselves to fair employment practices.
Ramesh Kumar Singam, managing director, FedEx, said: "We do not really ask for race or age, sometimes not even gender. We just want to make sure that they have the right experience and qualification, and we are more interested in their fit with us apart from the technical knowledge and information."
The Manpower Ministry said there has been an improvement in hiring practices.
Discrimination in job advertisements - for example, specifying language criteria without an explanation - has been dealt with effectively. There has been a decrease in the number of reports from 20 per cent in 2006 to some 1.7 per cent last year. - CNA/ms