Singapore is introducing tougher procedures for hiring foreigners in professional, manager and executive (PME) posts, addressing concerns that they undercut the skills of the local workforce.
Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said that the measures would ensure Singaporeans get a fair chance of landing a PME job under the ministry's 'Fair Consideration Framework'.
Singaporeans have been complaining about foreigners taking up decent jobs in recent years. Last year, there were 303 complaints relating to work place discrimination, up from 277 in 2011, according to employment watchdog Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices.
The measures include advertisement of PME jobs in government jobs bank from August 2014. This is especially applicable to those with more than 25 employees and paying less than 12,000 Singapore dollars a month to an employee.
The free advertisement will have to be ready 14 days before a company applies for Employment Pass (EP) to hire a foreigner PME. Those failing to advertise with the jobs bank, would have their EP rejected.
Foreigner working under EP would also have a higher starting salary of 3,300 dollars a month from next January, up from 3,000 dollars.
But Tan also insisted that the new employment conditions were not a 'Hire Singaporeans first' policy.
"Singaporeans must still prove themselves able and competitive to take on the higher jobs that they aspire to," The Straits Times today quoted Tan as saying.
The Ministry warned that it would keep a close watch on companies with few Singaporeans in PME jobs and those with repeated complaints of unfair hiring practices.
The latest measures were welcomed by the Singapore National Employers Federation and National Trades Union Congress