Once again, Ubisoft is under fire over accusations of sexual harassment and unfairness. This time around, it’s the company’s Singapore office that’s facing resentment. Earlier in July, Ubisoft employees expressed solidarity with Blizzard Entertainment employees almost 500 employees signed an open letter demanding an industry-wide action against abuse and misconduct. As of today, it has come to notice that Ubisoft Singapore is being investigated by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) over accusations of sexual harassment and unfairness.
First reported by The Straits Times, an English-language daily broadsheet newspaper based in Singapore, the national watchdog for fair employment practices is investigating the Singapore office of the French game giant, Ubisoft, after receiving many complaints regarding workplace discrimination and sexual abuse. The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) told that it had received anonymous complaints in July containing links to media articles with accusations of sexual harassment and injustice at Ubisoft Singapore.
Since then, the national watchdog has begun an investigation within Ubisoft Singapore and encouraged anyone with knowledge of any criminal conduct to come forward with it. In July, Kotaku released a report about the sexual harassment and discrimination that more than 500 employees have to face at Ubisoft Singapore. In response to the accusations, Darryl Long, the managing director at Ubisoft Singapore said at a press event on 6th August, “It’s very important that we can talk about these things and that we acknowledge what’s going on in our industry right now… We need to start to change the way we are perceived and the way we act internally as well.”
However, to no avail, employees continue to complain about the “toxic leaders” and “bad projects”. Last month, Ubisoft France faced a lawsuit from a French workers’ union and former Ubisoft employees over accusations of “institutional harassment”. In Singapore, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) may carry out the investigations through interviews with the influenced individuals and witnesses, and by reviewing the documented evidence.
Ubisoft Singapore might also be required to put new policies into place such that future occurrences can be reduced. If the evidence regarding discrimination due to age, gender, race, religion and language is found to be certain, the case can be handed over to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). As such, it would violate the Fair Consideration Framework, told Mr Ian Lim, the Head of Employment and Labour at TSMP Law Corporation. Consequently, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) can ban the company from applying for new work permits for foreign employees or renew current ones for a duration between 12 and 24 months.
The Straits Times also reached out to Ubisoft Singapore regarding the accusations of discrimination. “Compensation is determined by role, responsibility, market practices and performance,” the company responded. Mr Daryl Long also mentioned that the company does not tolerate harassment, discrimination or misconduct of any sort. “I understand that Ubisoft Singapore has been mentioned in the news lately… I acknowledge that the studio has seen some challenges over the past decade and there is still work to be done about our studio culture,” he said.
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