27 February 2023
On 30 January 2023, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) announced that the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (“TGFEP”) would be enhanced in February 2023 with the following additional guidelines for employers and employees on exercising sensitivity at the workplace in relation to activities that are not related to work:
- Employers should be sensitive to the diverse cultures, values and beliefs of their employees when developing, promoting or implementing events, programmes and policies that are not related to work.
- Support for any cause should not lead to bullying, harassment or ostracism at the workplace in any circumstances. Employers should provide employees with a safe environment to raise their concerns, including through a proper grievance handling process.
- Employees should be assessed for performance, promotion and related areas based only on work-related requirements, as stipulated in the TGFEP.
- Employees should not be required or pressured to participate in events, programmes and policies that are not related to work. Non-support or non-participation should not affect their employment outcomes.
- Employers should continue to demonstrate and communicate the importance of an inclusive and harmonious workplace.
MOM states that the enhanced guidelines underscore the importance of building and maintaining a harmonious workplace, where individuals of different backgrounds, abilities and beliefs continue to feel valued, engaged, and respected.
Employers are expected to abide by the principles of fair employment practices set out in the TGFEP, including these additional guidelines. The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) will look into the reports of non-compliance with the TGFEP and refer such cases to MOM for investigation. MOM cautions that it may curtail work pass privileges of non-compliant employers.