DSAJ director cites equality provision to downplay alleged blacklists

All employees are under the protection of the principal of equality provisions in the Labour Relations Law, director Leong Weng In of Legal Affairs said yesterday, in response to a lawmaker’s question on employee blacklists.

Leong attended the policy question session at the parliament yesterday afternoon with her superintendent, Secretary for Administration and Justice Andre Cheong.

Lawmaker Leong Sun Iok pointed out in his question that certain large companies, such as the casino operators, allegedly have employee blacklists consisting of candidates who are said to have committed major errors or misconduct.

Leong argued that when employees are asked to give consent to past employment and background investigations, the bargaining power is not balanced. Effectively, they are forced to give consent in these situations.

In response to the alleged existence of employee blacklists, director Leong said that the Labour Relations Law protects all jobseekers and employees against discrimination. Whenever they are treated differently without legitimate reason, employers who discriminate unjustly against them can be subject to penalties.

However, employers usually cite past mistakes to support not hiring a candidate, she said.

She also reiterated that consent is required for the retrieval of personal information, in response to the lawmaker’s question on background investigations.

She added that her bureau will work consistently with the Labour Affairs Bureau in the implementation of existing laws and any future legislative review. AL

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