Eliminating Age Requirement In Recruitment

Fair job requirements in job advertisements can help increase the chances of getting the right candidates and standing out against competing employers.

13 Mar 2024 Case Stories Age management Best practices

Learning Points 

  • Employers should put up fair job advertisements that do not discriminate against applicants based on age.
  • When stating the selection criteria in job advertisements, ensure they are related to the qualification, skills, knowledge, and experience of the candidates.
  • If the nature of job is physically demanding, state the requirement in the job description and avoid indicating a specific age group.


Charlie saw a job advertisement for the position of Security Officer on a WhatsApp group posted by a security services company. While he was keen to apply for the role, the advertisement indicated that candidates should be under the age of 50. He felt that it was discriminatory hiring and reported this to TAFEP.

TAFEP's Involvement

When TAFEP approached the company, they explained that there was no intention to discriminate against candidates of any age group. The requirement was included due to safety concerns. The candidates had to be Fire and Hazmat Emergency certified, and the course for the certification could be physically demanding. The company shared that there had been a fatality during the course in the past, which prompted them to include the age requirement. They also gave assurances that they had employees above the age of 70.


TAFEP found that there were no legal statutory age requirements for the job or the certification, and that the company decided to impose the age restrictions on its own accord.

TAFEP asked the company to remove the job advertisement, sign up for the Tripartite Standards on Recruitment Practices, and encouraged them to post an apology in the WhatsApp Group. The company complied with the suggestions and counselled the employee who had put up the advertisement.

As the company had breached the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, TAFEP referred the case to the Ministry of Manpower for further investigation. The Ministry concluded that the company did not provide a valid explanation and suspended the company’s work pass application and renewal privileges for a period of 12 months.

Disclaimer: The case study is based on an actual case handled by TAFEP. The names and identifying details in this case have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.