Employment discrimination in S’pore decline by almost 24%, report

Government data revealed that incidents of workplace and recruitment discrimination in Singapore declined for the second consecutive year in 2022. The number of job seekers experiencing discrimination during their job search fell to 23.8% in 2022, marking a decrease from 25.8% in 2021 and 42.7% in 2018.

The report, based on a survey of 3,600 Singaporeans, highlighted the most common forms of discrimination faced by jobseekers:

  • Age (16.6%)
  • Race (7.1%)
  • Mental health (5%)
  • Family status (4.3%)
  • Sex (4.2%)

Notably, cases of mental health discrimination rose to 5%, surpassing nationality, which held the third position in the previous year’s report with 2.9%.

The report suggested that this increase in mental health discrimination might be due to the growing expectations for employers to address their employees’ mental well-being, as well as an increase in the proportion of individuals in the labor force with mental health conditions.

While the discrimination incidents have decreased, job advertisements that show preferences for specific demographic without clear justifications continue to be the most common source of discrimination for jobseekers.

Another form of discrimination stems from employers’ requests for personal information irrelevant to the job. Age, marital status, and nationality were the most common types of personal information asked during job applications or interviews, as reported in the survey.

In the workplace, the report showed a slight decline in discrimination experienced by employees in 2022, with the figure at 8.2% compared to 8.5% the previous year and 24.1% in 2018. Instances of unfair treatment reported by employees included:

  • Salary (56%)
  • Workload distribution (46%)
  • Appraisal (44.7%)
  • Promotion (44.7%)
  • Career development (38.7%)
  • Bonus (36.7%)
  • Daily interactions at work (26.7%)


Based on the survey, employees were found to be discriminated against based on the following personal attributes:


Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) attributed the decline in discrimination figures to collective tripartite efforts to promote and sustain fair employment practices.

The report also indicated that the number of employees seeking assistance after facing discrimination nearly doubled to 35.3% in 2022, rising from 20% in 2021. The majority of these employees (75.3%) sought help through the formal channels provided by their companies or unions.

Reasons for not reporting discrimination included fear of marginalization at work or creating awkward work relations (23.1%) and concerns about the potential impact on their professional career or future job opportunities (21.5%).

Singapore’s MOM emphasised that employees or jobseekers experiencing discrimination could seek assistance through their employers’ grievance handling process or approach the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices for support.

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Chief of Staff Asia