Removing Preferences For Specific Sex During Job Screening

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 Recruitment Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices Best practices

Learning Points 

  • Employers should put up fair job advertisements that do not discriminate against applicants based on sex.
  • Employers should avoid using sex as a selection criterion unless practical requirements are involved. They should state the reason clearly.


An art centre which had several branches posted a recruitment advertisement for a Part-time/ Full-time Art Teacher on Facebook. When Daniel applied for the position via WhatsApp through the number indicated in the advertisement, they asked for his sex. Upon knowing that he was a male candidate, they told him that the centre only hired females. Daniel felt discriminated against and lodged a report with TAFEP. 

TAFEP's Involvement

When TAFEP looked into the matter, the centre director explained that they would select candidates based on three considerations – relevant qualification, experience and a positive attitude.

Daniel was not shortlisted due to a lack of teaching experience and relevant qualifications. While they had male teachers in other branches, they had concerns about hiring non-females due to concerns from the students’ parents at the branch that was hiring. However, this was not communicated to Daniel. The centre admitted that the shortlisting process was not handled appropriately, and they issued a warning letter to its employee for this matter.

TAFEP found that though the centre requested for Daniel’s resume, they immediately excluded him during the shortlisting process upon knowing his sex. The company was also quick to inform him that they only hired females, and this was documented in the WhatsApp chat.


TAFEP established that the centre had been discriminatory in wanting to hire only females. Daniel was also not fairly considered for the position that he applied for.

The centre had breached the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, and TAFEP referred the case to the Ministry of Manpower for further investigation. The Ministry concurred with TAFEP’s findings and suspended their work pass privileges for 6 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.