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Tripartite Partners Propose Legislative and Advisory Changes to Strengthen Workplace Fairness

The Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness (TCWF) recommendations aims to support the nation’s social and economic objectives while promoting greater workforce participation.
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More is being done to strengthen workplace fairness laws and improve the existing Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP) framework to fight against discrimination.

The Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness (TCWF) made 20 recommendations on 13 February 2023, comprising guidelines and legislative changes, to protect workers from discrimination.

The committee also revealed the interim report for Workplace Fairness Legislation (WFL) on the same day.

The committee is co-chaired by Manpower Minister Tan See Leng, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) Robert Yap.

The committee believes more robust protection against the specified workplace discrimination will support Singapore’s key social and economic objectives. Additionally, the effort will promote greater workforce participation by mature workers, women, persons with disability and persons with mental health conditions.

The committee also said that a broader range of sanctions and penalties in legislation would empower the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to take appropriate enforcement action against those who persist in unfair practices.

Dr Tan said: “Rooting out discrimination is a whole-of-society effort. It requires knowledge, understanding, ownership by employers, and the support of employees.

“The Workplace Fairness Legislation, together with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices and a mediation-centred approach, will significantly strengthen our stand against discrimination and support progressive and harmonious workplaces.”

While Mr Ng shared that legislation can act as a deterrent to incalcitrant employers, he noted that it was more important that workers are given a level-playing field – particularly those in the local PME segment.

He added that the proposed legislation will give workers more protection against employer retaliation and allow workers to seek redress while still in employment instead of post-employment.

“NTUC will continue to work with our tripartite partners to build more inclusive workplaces and improve our HR standards to enhance workplace fairness for our local PMEs. There will be continued efforts to ensure the local workforce can transform and remain employable,” he said.

On the committee’s vision of “Responsible Employers, Sustainable Businesses”, Dr Yap added: “Responsible employment practices will help build harmonious workplaces, foster good relations between employers and employees, as well as unity amongst employees, which in turn support strong business outcomes, and enable businesses to be sustainable.”

Details of the 20 recommendations can be found at

State of Workplace Fairness in Singapore

The latest MOM Fair Employment Practices Survey (2021) found that the proportion of resident job applicants who claimed they experienced discrimination during their job search had fallen – down to 25 per cent in 2021 from 43 per cent in 2018.

Meanwhile, the proportion of resident employees said to have experienced discrimination at work was 8 per cent in 2021, which is lower than the European Union average of 11 per cent.

In 2022, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practice (TAFEP) received around 250 workplace discrimination complaints. The most common grounds for discrimination were nationality, age, and sex.