Singapore workplace anti-discrimination law reform recommendations expected in 2022

Out-Law News | 23 Sep 2021 | 12:54 am | 1 min. read

The Singapore government is expecting to receive recommendations for reform of workplace anti-discrimination law in the first half of 2022, a minister has said.

The Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness (TCWF), which consists of business, unions, government and human resources representatives, is currently considering how to enact anti-discrimination guidelines produced by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) into law.

MOM senior minister Koh Poh Koon told the Singapore parliament that the government would consider the TCWF’s recommendations and was prepared to legislate if it accepted them. The government is also keen to broaden the range of potential remedies for discrimination to allow for a more proportionate approach to enforcement, Koon said.

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “It will be interesting to see how the guidelines will be translated into legislation, and how this will differ, if at all, from the current guidelines.”

In August the country’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a speech that the TAFEP  guidelines would be made into law.

A tribunal would then be created to allow workers to bring claims for workplace discrimination based on nationality, as well as other kinds of discrimination covered by TAFEP including that based on gender, age, race, religion or disability.

TAFEP was set up in 2006 by Singapore’s labour market ‘tripartite partners’: the Ministry of Manpower (MOM); National Trades Union Congress; and Singapore National Employers Federation. Its aim is to promote the adoption of fair, responsible and progressive employment practices.

The TCWF was established by the tripartite partners in July, with the aim of making recommendations to tackle workplace discrimination and uphold fairness at work.