SAS has raised the issue with the Ministry of Manpower, and Savills Property Management has removed the clause and will review the terms and conditions.
After being called out for discriminatory clauses in its tender document for security services, the managing agent of Hillview Heights condominium has apologised for the “confusion” caused by such documents, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).
“This is an unfortunate situation created by historical tender documentation language from 2000,” said a spokesperson for Savills Property Management, Hillview Heights’ managing agent.
“We sincerely apologise for any confusion caused and have taken steps to ensure all tender documentation reflects current Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP),” the spokesperson told CNA.
On Monday (6 September), the Security Association Singapore (SAS) called out Savills for two “discriminatory” clauses in its tender.
One states that a $100 penalty will be imposed on the security agency should it fail to provide “a Chinese-speaking guard” for over six shifts per month.
Another clause provides that the management may impose a $100 fine to the agency every time a guard older than 60 years old or younger than 21 is deployed without the management’s prior approval.
Savills revealed that it has been “invited by the Singapore Police Force to introduce Outcome Based Contracts and will be reviewing the terms and conditions for our clients’ approval”.
“We also welcome a constructive dialogue between the SAS and the Association of Strata Managers to ensure we are all aligned in the future.”
In responding to Savills’ reply, SAS said it also wanted to highlight the “immediate removal” clause in the same tender document as well as “in many security contracts” which allow the managing agent to demand the immediate removal of officers from the site for “reasons that are almost catch-all, and without due process”.
“This is not in the spirit of fair employment or fair consideration and allows security officers and security agencies to be held in terrorem by managing agents and service buyers, because of their unfettered ability to simply reject or dismiss officers without recourse,” said the SAS as quoted by CNA.
SAS pointed that such reasons for immediate termination may be discriminatory like against older workers or “completely frivolous”.
“SAS had previously received a complaint that an officer was asked to be removed because he had his back turned to a condominium MCST’s chairman when the chairman was driving into the premises and had failed to greet the chairman,” shared the association.
“The security agency refused to do so, and very quickly lost the contract,” it added, noting that the condominium was not Hillview Heights.
With this, SAS hoped such stipulations would also be considered by Savills in its review.
“In the meantime, SAS will continue to closely scrutinise tenders put out by Savills, other managing agents and service buyers, for discriminatory and unfair clauses and stipulations, and highlight provisions of concern,” it said.
SAS also revealed that they have raised the issue with the Ministry of Manpower, while giving assurance that it will work to ensure the employment of officers is protected and “not subject to anyone’s mere whims and fancies”.
“While stipulations on race and age in tenders have now been put in the spotlight, the reality is that these stipulations are the tip of the iceberg,” said SAS Executive Director Ikhsan Suri as quoted by CNA.
“All stakeholders in the industry should sincerely review the form and spirit of security tenders in totality, in order to effect meaningful industry transformation.”
Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: email@example.com.