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by: Kyal Smith

Fair Consideration Framework

On 23rd September 2013, the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) was introduced with the aim to ensure Singaporeans are given fair employment, promotion and training opportunities.

From 1 August 2014, firms submitting Employment Pass (EP) applications (including EP holders who are changing employers) are required to advertise their job vacancies on the Jobs Bank.

The job advertisement must be open to Singaporeans and run for at least 14 calendar days. Firms that submit EP applications prior to the close of the 14 day advertising period will not be able to proceed with their EP applications. After the advertising period, the firm can hire the most qualified candidate, regardless of nationality.

Advertising on the Jobs Bank will benefit both Singaporean job-seekers and employers, as it facilitates better matching of vacancies with job-seekers. Employers will have access to a larger pool of potential candidates and Singaporeans will have better visibility of job openings.

For practical reasons, these jobs are exempted from the advertising requirement:

– Jobs in firms with 25 or fewer employees; or

– Jobs that pay a fixed monthly salary of S$12,000 and above;

– Jobs to be filled by intra-corporate transferees (ICTs)1. Under the World Trade Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (WTO GATS), ICTs would refer to those holding senior positions in the organisation or have an advanced level of expertise; or

– Jobs that are necessary for short-term contingencies (i.e. period of employment in Singapore for not more than one month2)

An important element to note, regardless of whether the job vacancies are exempted from the advertising requirement, firms found to have nationality-based or other discriminatory HR practices will face additional scrutiny from MOM and could have their work pass privileges curtailed.

1. This includes the transfer of staff already in Singapore between related firms in Singapore.

2. An EP holder that is admitted under this category will not be allowed to renew his EP, nor apply for a new EP for at least three months after the previous EP expires.