As employees at major publisher and developer companies make demands of the overall organizations to be better, it would appear that another sector of Ubisoft is under fire for additional workplace fairness violations and sexual harassment allegations. Ubisoft Singapore has officially fallen under inquiry of a national watchdog regarding said allegations and will be probed for violations of national workplace regulations, among other matters.
This report originally came out of The Straits Times, which recently reported that the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) had been anonymously tipped off with links to a Kotaku story of workplace and sexual harassment. TAFEP urged any persons with knowledge of sexual misconduct and incidents to report such information to the police. However, allegations of workplace favoritism and even possible racism pushed TAFEP to further action, prompting an inquiry into the workplace environment of Ubisoft Singapore. Sources from Kotaku’s story alleged a “French ceiling” in which native workers found it difficult to reach senior positions. Ubisoft claimed that over 40 percent of the expert or senior staff at the Singapore studio are native or permanent residents. However, former employees complained that the common language on the studio floor is French.
With the inquiry now underway at Ubisoft Singapore, TAFEP will be determining the full extent to which the studio violated fair workplace regulations and practices, if at all. If Ubisoft Singapore is found to be in violation, it could result in penalties up to and including foreign staff not being able to apply for work pass acquisition or renewal for one to two years. Moreover, if any sort of allegations of sexual harassment are found to be valid, it could result in a police investigation into the studio.
Ubisoft has spent over a year facing a multitude of criticism for sexual harassment and toxic workplace allegations throughout the company. It resulted in employees penning a letter to executive leadership, criticizing Ubisoft for not doing enough to address or better the situation. CEO Yves Guillemot responded in claiming the company has made multiple meaningful changes in an attempt to ensure the safety and wellbeing of employees, simultaneously admitting more work needs to be done. However, with situations like that of Ubisoft Singapore coming up, one wonders if it is even close to enough. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further information and updates.