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Zhao Yang Ng

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Zhao Yang Ng is a senior associate in Baker McKenzie's Singapore office.

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.

Regulators around the world are seeking to strengthen governance frameworks to deter and prevent the perpetuation of employee misconduct and to stem the “rolling of bad apples.”

In this webinar recording, Eunice Tan and Grace Fung from our financial services regulatory team, and Zhao Yang Ng and Sonia Wong from our employment and compensation team discuss and analyze regulatory developments proposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in meeting these objectives.

In our earlier article Making it Mandatory to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19: A Framework for Employers1 (“Article”), we 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 an advisory on 2 July 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 (“Advisory”).

In 2016, an influential Agency Manager of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore orchestrated a mass exodus of over 200 agents to a competitor, Aviva Financial Advisors Pte Ltd. Prudential, in turn, sued the Agency Manager for up to S$2.5 billion in damages, in a high-profile case which attracted significant media attention in Singapore.

To provide greater clarity on the existing misconduct reporting requirements for representatives and broking staff, and enhance standards of investigations on misconduct, MAS will be revising the misconduct reporting regime. Further, to standardise industry practices on due diligence conducted on prospective representatives and broking staff, MAS will be mandating financial institutions to perform and respond to reference check requests, with a list of baseline mandatory information that must be obtained or provided in the reference check.

In a recent action brought before the Singapore High Court, the summary dismissal of Wong Sung Boon by Fuji Xerox Singapore Pte Ltd (“FXS”) was found to be without basis and unlawful, and FXS was ordered to pay damages of SGD 1.4 million. In assessing the quantum of damages, the High Court re-affirmed the minimum obligation rule. This case illustrates the importance of ensuring that summary dismissals are carried out in accordance with the law and the decision to summarily dismiss an employee must be taken with due care.

The videos linked below cover key global immigration and mobility topics. They are designed to give a brief and easy-to-understand overview of important topics relevant to the management of a global workforce. Data Privacy at the Airport: Is it Possible to Protect Sensitive Data? (2 March 2021) Our immigration and…