On 23 September 2013, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) announced that from 1 August 2014, new rules will come into effect that require employers to give fair consideration to Singaporeans for jobs before hiring Employment Pass (“EP”) holders. These new rules, known as the Fair Consideration Framework (“FCF”), will (unless the employer/the job vacancy comes within the exception discussed below) require all job vacancies to be advertised on a new jobs bank for at least 14 days prior to an application for an EP being submitted to the MOM. There will also be additional scrutiny placed on firms which may have discriminatory hiring practices.

An exception to the requirement to advertise job vacancies on the new jobs bank will apply to small firms with 25 or fewer employees and to jobs which pay a fixed monthly salary of S$12,000 and above. However, Singaporeans must still be considered fairly for these job vacancies.

The FCF is being put into place to encourage employers to give Singaporeans, especially young graduates and Professionals, Managers, and Executives, a fair chance at both job and development opportunities. Whilst the MOM also announced that changes to the EP qualifying requirements will come into effect from January 2014, this Update will look solely at the key features of the FCF.