Going for job interviews can be stressful. And it’s especially so when you’re not aware of what your potential employer is legally allowed to ask you. Sometimes, it can feel like questions come out of nowhere and you’re caught off guard, not knowing whether you’re meant to answer them.
For women, some of these questions may concern childbearing plans. The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) lists the guidelines for what is considered a “fair job interview”. TAFEP promotes the adoption of fair, responsible and progressive employment practices, and was set up in 2006 by the tripartite partners – Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress, and Singapore National Employers Federation.
One of the questions under its “you should not ask” list is, “Are you planning to have children soon?”. But this doesn’t mean that employers do not ask this to potential employees. In fact, according to Her World’s What Women Want Survey 2020, 25% of women were asked about their childbearing plans by a recruiter or potential employer. Of these women, 72% mentioned their plans, while the other 28% chose not to reveal them. And, among those who had childbearing plans, about one-third chose not to tell the recruiter or potential employer about it.