Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said in Parliament on Thursday (June 4) that there is no rule that job seekers must declare their last drawn salary to employers.
Teo was responding to a Parliamentary Question filed by Bishan-Toa Payoh MP Saktiandi Supaat asking the following:
- How common is the practice for employers and recruiters to ask job seekers to declare their last drawn salary or to share previous payslips?
- Has any study has been made to ascertain how such practices affected employability and salary packages of job applicants?
- Should such a practice should be stopped so that applicants can move up the wage scale?
Employers cannot insist on candidates revealing their last drawn salary
Addressing the "concern" that job seekers have been "forced to declare their last drawn salaries" while applying for a job, Teo clarified that there is no such rule, and employers cannot insist on it.
She, however, said that the government should be taking a "practical approach" on whether employers are even allowed to ask for such information.
Teo explained that the last drawn salary was still relevant in some instances, such as gauging a candidate's seniority or to make an appropriate job offer.
However, using this last drawn salary to screen applicants means that employers run the risk of losing out on good candidates.
This is especially so if these candidates are prepared to adjust their salary expectations.
"It is similarly unwise for employers to overlook the longer track record of the applicant, and make an offer based solely on the last-drawn salary, especially if the last-held position was an interim one," she said.
Teo added that if a job applicant chooses to provide salary information to employers, it should be used carefully.
Top photo screenshot via CNA.