Singapore: A Spanish frozen yogurt chain in Singapore is facing a probe for unfair unemployment practices after an Indian woman was denied part-time job citing her inability to speak Mandarin.
22-year-old Karishma Kaur applied for a part-time job at the Ilaollao's Singapore branch on January 7, but said she was not given an interview as the manager spoke only Mandarin and could not interview her in English.
Kaur posted the matter on her Facebook account.
"I got turned away from a part-time job I am adequate for ... Why is it that the onus is now on me to learn a whole new language just so I am able to attain a part-time job at an F&B outlet?" her Facebook post said.
The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAPEF) received a complaint on the issue on January 12 and has said that it was looking into it.
According to the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, if a job entails proficiency in a particular language, employers should justify the need for the requirement.
In this case, there was a potential contravention of the Guidelines, it said.
Meanwhile, in a Facebook post Ilaollao had publicly apologised on the act on January 13.
"Thank you all for your feedback. The Management of llaollao Singapore would like to apologise for the distress caused to Ms Karishma Kaur and are taking the necessary steps to ensure this will not happen again" the facebook post said.
Llaollao Singapore's country manager Edwin Ferroa said he has been in talks with TAPEF "to look into how we can better the way we employ".
"We don't condone such discriminatory behaviour based on race, language or religion," Ferroa was quoted as saying by the Singapore media.
"On behalf of the franchise owner of West Mall (where Ms Kaur was rejected for the job) and our brand, we are deeply sorry for the insensitivity shown.
"At llaollao Singapore, we take pride in hiring energetic, dynamic and hardworking individuals to be our brand ambassadors," it said.
"Since coming from Spain in 2013 to Singapore, we have warmly welcomed all outgoing individuals with a good command of English and other language proficiencies. We hire employees of all ages, races and religions," the post added.