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99% of SG companies hire fairly, says Singapore International Chamber of Commerce chair

The Independent logo The Independent 20/1/2021 Anna Maria Romero
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Singapore—Many people have been concerned over fair hiring practices lately, especially in the light of job security during the pandemic.

And while Singapore’s business leaders said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 19) that welcoming global talent is vital for maintaining Singapore’s competitiveness, fair and inclusive hiring practices are a must.

Mr Per Magnusson, the chairman of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC), said that nearly all Singaporean companies practice fair hiring.

“We should remember that 99 per cent, or even more than 99 per cent, of all companies in Singapore actually do hire fairly.

We should actually silently go after that very small minority who don’t. And we…support the absolute majority who hire in a fair manner.”

The business leaders spoke to members of the press after releasing the statement on Tuesday, which was jointly issued by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and 29 Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) under the TAC Alliance.

There are 27,200 firms represented by the SBF, along with important foreign and local business chambers.

The statement was issued “in a show of solidarity to collectively pledge support for…fair hiring and employment practices.”

Yahoo Singapore reported that Mr Magnusson was asked by the media why going after firms that utilise unfair hiring practices should be done “silently” and not publicly.

The SICC chair answered that this is to prevent the wrong impression from spreading.

“When one does it publicly, I think everyone gets the wrong perception.

Because one company penalised publicly gets all the media attention while we forget immediately that…it’s definitely more than 99 per cent of all companies do it in a fair and equitable manner,” he added.

Mr Lim Ming Yan, the chairman of SBF, underlined the necessity of remaining open to global talent, as this would “engender skill transfer that can further develop the local workforce.”

This is part of the nature of competition worldwide, he said.

The SBF chair added that employers need to develop local talent and prepare them for leadership roles.

Mr Lim also commented on the current pandemic, saying it put pressure on the country’s job situation, which makes it even more important that employers assure their workers of their commitment to fair hiring practices.

One part of the joint statement read, “As businesses prepare for a recovery framework from disruption to transition and at a time of economic distress for businesses and their employees, the TACs encourage their member companies to remain committed to recruiting deserving candidates fairly based on merit.”

However, some people commenting on the article on Yahoo Singapore’s Facebook page did not respond positively to Mr Magnuson’s claim that over 99 per cent of Singaporean companies hire fairly.

There appears to be a perception that foreign talent is given priority or preference.

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Others expressed their doubts or found the figure laughable.

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graphical user interface, text, application © The Independent Singapore graphical user interface, text, application © The Independent Singapore

graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message © The Independent Singapore    Some commenters pointed to the irony of the statement coming from a foreigner.

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Others wanted to find out where he got the “over 99 per cent” figure from

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/TISG

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