The Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) was implemented as a direct response to the growing citizenry dissatisfaction over the steady increase of foreign hires clinching what are deemed ‘desirable jobs’ and – as one can appreciate – is a critical part of Singapore’s overall political backdrop.
When it was first introduced in 2014, it aimed to tackle the issue of companies with a dwindling Singaporean core (especially compared to industry peers) – these firms were approached by the authorities in a bid to 1) gain insight to their hiring practices and principles and 2) understand what employers deem to be the general skills gap within the local workforce.
The FCF details the requirements for companies to exercise fair hiring when operating in Singapore. It ensures locals have access to all jobs and tries to curb the issue of companies relying heavily – and often times, solely – on foreign manpower.
As such, a company can only proceed to apply for an Employment Pass (EP) or S Pass if they have advertised the role in the MyCareersFuture portal for 28 consecutive days. They are required to consider all applications from locals at that time and only extend offers to foreign nationals if they are unable to secure a suitable candidate within the local talent pool.
Penalties for non-adherence
Companies discovered of the following may be placed on the “Watchlist” for closer scrutiny by the MoM:
- Complaints of discriminatory HR practices (e.g. involving age, race, religion or nationality bias)
- Hiring practices that differ significantly from industry peers.
These companies may find their work pass applications taking longer than the standard 3 weeks to be processed.
Administrative Penalties for Workplace Discrimination
- Suspension of work pass privileges for a period between 12 to 24 months
- Company will be unable to apply for new work passes and/or renew existing ones
- Errant employers or key personnel who make false declarations to the Controller of Work Passes that they have considered all candidates fairly stand to face prosecution
- Employers convicted of false declaration under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act will face imprisonment of up to 2 years, or fine up to $20,000, or both
How Magrath Sheldrick Global can help:
We ensure our clients are kept regularly updated on any legislative or other changes surrounding the work pass framework, with a keen focus on the FCF. Should any changes arise, we analyze every case we have in our portfolio to identify any employees or company who may be impacted and propose mitigative solutions so the client’s goal can ultimately still be attainable.
Our clients find that they are able to avoid any potential compliance issues, as we carefully review all declarations and single out any potential questions or concerns the authorities may have. We also advocate clients align themselves holistically with the government requirements without compromising the company’s hiring principles and philosophy.
We regularly work with recruiters and HR personnel to guide them on the FCF requirements so they are able to successfully move their staff Singapore while complying fully to the immigration laws of the country.