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Zhao Yang Ng

Ng Zhao Yang is a local principal in the Employment Practice Group of Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow in Singapore. He has over 7 years of experience advising regional and multinational clients on employment law and immigration matters in Singapore. He has been recognised by Chambers & Partners as the only Associate to Watch for the Singapore Employment section since 2017. Clients who spoke to Chambers described him as an "extremely effective individual" who is "very responsive, pragmatic and able to communicate in a very simple and effective style". He has also achieved Rising Star status in the "Singapore - Labour and employment - Local firms" category for the 2020 edition of the Legal 500 Asia Pacific.

The Tripartite Committee on Workplace Fairness has released its interim report on 13 February 2023 with its 20 recommendations for the proposed Workplace Fairness Legislation.
In 2021, the Singapore government announced that it will be taking steps to enshrine the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (TGFEP) in law. The TGFEP, which is non-legally binding, sets out principles of workplace fairness and best practices for employers. While the TGFEP has improved standards of workplace fairness in Singapore, it does not have legal force. Enshrining the TGFEP in law is a significant step towards strengthening Singapore’s stand against workplace discrimination.

Due to workplace safety and health concerns arising from the lack of improvement in rates of workplace fatalities and a rise in major injuries in certain sectors, the Ministry of Manpower has announced the following:
• A three-month extension to the Heightened Safety Period (HSP) to 31 May 2023. The HSP, which applies across all industries, was due to end on 28 February 2023
• Additional measures adopting the Recommendations by International Advisory Panel to Strengthen Workplace Safety & Health on 19 January 2023

Following the concerns raised by some politicians that the repeal of section 377A of the Penal Code (which criminalizes consensual homosexual acts in private between male adults) may result in employees being pressured to attend their employers’ inclusion and diversity events, the Ministry of Manpower and its tripartite partners the Singapore National Employers Federation and the National Trades Union Congress have added new guidelines to the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices.

The Ministry of Manpower, on 23 November 2022, accepted the 12 recommendations proposed by the Advisory Committee on Platform Workers in its report Strengthening Protections For Platform Workers issued on 17 November 2022. The 12 recommendations in the Report aim to provide basic protections to platform workers in the following areas: (i) adequate financial protection in case of work injury, (ii) improved retirement and housing adequacy, and (iii) enhanced representation.

The Code of Practice: Chief Executives’ and Board of Directors’ Workplace Safety and Health Duties will, when gazetted in October 2022, apply to all directors and equivalent officers involved in policy making and executive decisions for business affairs of companies in all industries, even for companies which have no manual work and little risk of physical injury.

While Hong Kong and mainland China have had anti-discrimination laws in place that protect employees from various types of discrimination at the workplace, recent developments and increasing employee awareness of their rights have led to increased focus on this area. Whilst Singapore does not currently have any workplace discrimination laws per se, there have been some recent developments.
Join us for this webinar where our employment team from Baker McKenzie Hong Kong & China, and Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow will explore the discrimination laws and regulations in China, Hong Kong and Singapore, consequences for non-compliance, and what employers need to bear in mind regarding their human resources policies.

The Singapore government has released White Paper On Singapore Women’s Development on 28 March 2021, the first whole-of-society review of women’s development. Acting on data collected and analysis of feedback on areas where women still face barriers and challenges, the White Paper sets out 25 collective action plans in five main areas to advance women’s development. Employers should note that the first of these areas concerns providing equal opportunities in the workplace, and will involve: strengthening laws to address unfair and discriminatory employment practices, and developing advisories and guidelines to encourage adoption of flexible work arrangements.

As part of our continued efforts to guide clients through these challenging times, the Asia Pacific Employment & Compensation Group brings you these recorded webinars which provide key and practical insights on employment and compensation trends and major challenges being faced by businesses across the region.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at his recent National Day Rally speech, acknowledged the anxiety felt by middle income Singaporeans over foreign work pass holders, especially with the economic uncertainty heightened by COVID-19.

Addressing what he described as personal and emotional arguments by Singaporeans over perceived foreign competition for jobs and opportunities, the prime minister signaled that the government will introduce new anti-discrimination laws with a range of penalties extending beyond the current administrative penalties, such as restrictions on an employer from hiring foreign workers.

In an earlier article Making it Mandatory to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19: A Framework for Employers, Baker McKenzie associates considered the issue of whether employers can require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 based on the existing legal framework at the time. Since then, the Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation released two advisories on 2 July 2021 and 23 August 2021 to clarify the Singapore government’s policy on this issue and to provide guidance to employers regarding COVID-19 vaccination in the employment context.