SINGAPORE: Fewer Singapore residents in the labour force faced discrimination at work and during their job searches last year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Monday (Jul 31).
More jobseekers and employees did, however, experience discrimination based on mental health, according to MOM’s Fair Employment Practices Report for 2022.
The report revealed that 8.2 per cent of workers experienced discrimination at the workplace, down from 8.5 per cent in 2021, while 23.8 per cent of jobseekers experienced discrimination, down from 25.8 per cent.
This compares with figures of 24.1 per cent among employees and 42.7 per cent among jobseekers in MOM’s 2018 report.
“The continued improvement follows efforts by MOM, TAFEP and tripartite partners to promote fair employment practices,” MOM said, referring to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices.
DISCRIMINATION EXPERIENCED BY JOBSEEKERS
Age (16.6 per cent), race (7.1 per cent) and mental health (5 per cent) discrimination were the most common forms of discrimination encountered during job searches, MOM said.
“While age discrimination remained the main form of discrimination towards jobseekers, the proportion of jobseekers who experienced age discrimination declined, from 18.9 per cent in 2021 to 16.6 per cent in 2022,” MOM said.
There were, however, slight rises in discrimination based on race – 6.3 per cent to 7.1 per cent – and mental health – 2.9 per cent to 5 per cent.
MOM said that the rise in mental health discrimination “could be partly due to greater expectations for employers to care for their staff’s mental needs, as well as an increase in the proportion of residents in the labour force with mental health conditions”.
The ministry noted that there had been “a rise in the prevalence of poor mental health among residents aged 18 to 74” between 2017 and 2020.
Jobseekers also faced discrimination based on family status (4.3 per cent), sex (4.2 per cent), nationality (4 per cent) and religion (3.6 per cent).