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The Fair Consideration Framework is Fair

The Fair Consideration Framework was established in August 2014 with the primary objective of giving Singaporeans fair consideration for jobs and to help reduce discriminatory HR practices that favour foreigners.

Recently there was a discussion on e27 related to Singapore's Fair Consideration Framework and it seems that there are some common misconceptions about it which I would like to help clarify. As a Singapore Permanent Resident, I need to declare my bias on this issue.

In my opinion, any policy that helps to reduce discriminatory HR practices is a good thing.
Now you could argue that this policy is discriminatory but I personally don't think it's unreasonable for the Singapore Government to put the interests of their citizens before foreigners and you'd be hard-pressed to find a Government who does not do the same.

Australia just announced in their latest budget that employers will have to pay a levy of up to AUD $5,000 for each foreign worker they employ with the funds being directed into training programs for Australians.

Indonesia does not allow foreigners to work in any of the following areas:
  • Human Resources Department
  • Legal department
  • Health, safety, and environment affairs
  • Supply chain management
  • Quality control and inspection
Every country has it's quirks when it comes to hiring foreigners and if you're operating a business in a foreign land then that's the cost of doing business.

Here are the facts on Singapore's Fair Consideration Framework.

Requirements

  • The employer must advertise the role on the Jobs Bank for at least 14 days
    • The Jobs Bank is an online portal only accessible to Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents using SingPass for authentication
  • The job ad must include the following details
    • Position (job title) and job description
    • Job requirements such as qualifications, skills required, experience
    • Salary range
  • The Job Ad must comply with Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices

Exemptions

You are exempted from the requirements if any of the following are true:
  • The company has less than 25 employees
  • The monthly salary is SGD $12,000 or more
  • The job is to be filled by an intra-corporate transferee (ICTs) as defined under the World Trade
    Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (WTO GATS)
  • The job is necessary for short-term contingencies (i.e. period of employment in Singapore for
    not more than one month)
  • Situations where there is no new job vacancy in your company:
    • Conversion of your existing work pass holder to EP in the same company
    • Renewal of the pass of your existing EP holder
    • Your overseas vendor sending their staff to fulfil their contract for services to your
      company

Summary

In my opinion, the overall requirements are fair and not overly onerous to businesses.
Most if not all start-ups would be exempted anyhow as they likely have less than 25 employees if you have more then you've got bigger problems to worry about.
Before the Fair Consideration Framework was in place, I always tried to hire locals in the first instance as I see foreigners especially those who are brand new to Singapore having a large amount of risk. Also, I strongly believe that as foreigners operating businesses in Singapore we have an obligation to train and nurture the local talent.

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