Savills Property Management’s work pass privileges under review after guideline breaches

Victor KangSeptember 15, 2021

The Ministry of Manpower is currently reviewing the work pass privileges of Savills after the agency had repeatedly breached fair employment guidelines, including ‘discriminatory’ clauses in its tender documents for security services. Photo: Google Street View

The work pass privileges of Savills Property Management is currently under review, after four complaints for discriminatory clauses in its tender documents have been lodged against the company this year, revealed Channel News Asia (CNA).

The Security Association Singapore (SAS) has recently called out Savills for the discriminatory clauses in its tender for security services at Hillview Heights condominium.

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) said this is the fourth complaint lodged against Savills this year.

On the past three incidents this year, TAFEP shared that Savills had removed the “discriminatory clauses” found in its tender documents following advice from TAFEP.

Savills had also been asked to attend the Fair Hiring Clinic of TAFEP to help it better understand the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP).

“Despite receiving repeated counsel and advice from TAFEP on how to improve on the clauses in their tender documents, Savills has once again breached the TGFEP,” TAFEP told CNA.

“Furthermore, Savills has not formally responded to TAFEP’s request for an explanation into the latest incident except to bcc TAFEP when sending its press statement to the media.”

With this, TAFEP had “strongly recommended” to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to take action against Savills, and the ministry is currently reviewing the work pass privileges of Savills.

Savills’ latest tender document – posted on e-marketplace site Realty Singapore – stated that a $100 penalty per shift will be imposed on the security agency should it fail to provide “a Chinese-speaking guard” for over six shifts per month.

The management may also impose a $100 fine on the agency each time a guard older than 60 years old or younger than 21 is deployed without the management’s prior approval.

SAS noted that while there were other “clauses of concern” in Savill’s tender document, it chose to highlight the two since they “appear to penalise security agencies unless they exercise discrimination in their hiring and deployment of security officers”.

Meanwhile, TAFEP said that it along with MOM “take a serious view of such discriminatory practices”

“MOM and TAFEP expect Savills to immediately work with all its Management Corporation Strata Titles (MCST) to ensure that its future tenders adhere to the TGFEP,” it said.

“Unless it is a regulatory or legal requirement, including age-related requirements when advertising for job roles is a serious breach of the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices. Reasons for requiring language proficiency for any role should also be clearly stated.”

On 8 September, Savills issued an apology for the “confusion” caused by its tender documents.

“This is an unfortunate situation created by historical tender documentation language from 2000,” it said as quoted by CNA. “We sincerely apologise for any confusion caused and have taken steps to ensure all tender documentation reflects current TGFEP.”

 

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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