There is still much room for improvement in Singapore’s fair employment practices, as one in five complaints handled by the Tripartite Alliance of Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP) relates to race, language or religion.
According to the national body, between 2012 and June this year it received nearly 500 complaints, including those surrounding job advertisements which indicated preference towards a particular race or language, Channel News Asia reported.
While the number of race, language and religion complaints have remained relatively unchanged over the past three years, Bob Tan, co-chairperson for TAFEP, told CNA it is important is not to “hunt down” small cases, but to try and create more awareness about the problem at large.
According to a separate study by the Institute of Policy Studies and OnePeople.sg, 20% of Malays and 18% of Indians said they often, very often or always feel discriminated against when applying for work, compared with 4% of Chinese who felt the same way.
Additionally, more than one third of respondents believed Malays and Indians have to work harder and push through more barriers to reach top positions in their companies, as compared to other races.
More than 90% of Singaporeans said they are comfortable with people of other races and religions, but this sentiment changed slightly when asked about new citizens. The proportion of those surveyed who indicated comfort with a new citizen from China or India, for example, were less, ranging from around 74% to 87.6%.
Tan said there is a need to create a working environment where employees feel comfortable, and companies have to practice what they preach in terms of job equality in order to attract and retain the best talent.
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