The Fair Consideration Framework is an attempt by the government to convince Singaporeans that the government is reacting to their discontent. However, the usefulness of the “framework” itself is highly questionable.
First, firms are not required to interview Singaporeans first. Second, if employers do not hire Singaporeans, there is no need for employers to explain why as the Ministry of Manpower had said that, “MOM does not review the merits of a firm’s hiring decision, as the firm is best placed to decide on which candidate can do the job.”
Thus the only real change to hiring practices is that firms only need to put up new job openings on a “jobs bank” website. Firms can still post up new job openings on other sites. And they can still interview and hire anyone at their discretion.
The ministry might say that they would look into the hiring practices of questionable firms, but the ministry’s track record in addressing the complaints of Singaporeans about unfair employment practices has been dismal, and it is unlikely that they will adequately follow-up with any unfair hiring practices, since this “framework” offers no legal bite or protection to Singaporeans, as it’s neither a law nor policy.
Finally, even if the “framework” would have served any purpose – which it does not – this “framework” only covers Singaporeans competing with Employer Pass applicants. This means that 60% to 70% of Singaporeans wouldn’t be covered by this “framework” anyway.
The question then is, why bother introducing the “framework” if the only aim is to placate the people but not introduce any real benefits to Singaporeans? I am not against the hiring of foreigners – however, if the government is not sincere about introducing “frameworks” (and not even a policy change), then the government might as well not introduce this at all.
The real reason why Singaporeans are unhappy with the influx of foreigners is because their wages have been depressed. And if indeed, the government is sincere about protecting Singaporeans, the government should implement minimum wage, and anti-discrimination laws.
As of now, the government chooses to introduce “frameworks” aimed at only mediating the presenting reasons for Singaporeans’ concerns, without addressing the underlying fundamental reasons of low and depressed wages. It is redundant to introduce “frameworks” which do not address underlying reasons and which are hollow in themselves.”