Singapore’s national workplace watchdog is reportedly conducting an investigation into allegations of workplace discrimination and harassment at Skull and Bones developer Ubisoft Singapore. Reports of abuse initially arose last year, but the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) reveals that it has received numerous anonymous reports late last month. The reports also coincide with a growing awareness of poor employment practices across the industry.
In a report by The Straits Times, the workplace watchdog is now urging anyone with knowledge of criminal conduct within the studio to report incidents to the police. For context, Ubisoft removed former Singapore studio head Hugues Ricour last year after several sources accused him of sexual harassment, particularly against women. However, later reports state that Ricour is still working at the company in a different position.
Ubisoft Singapore isn’t the only studio under investigation for workplace harassment issues, of course—though apparently, it’s one of the worst offenders and has been in the spotlight for a while now. Just last month, several Ubisoft employees raised their voices once again following the announcement of Assassin’s Creed Infinity. They state that, though CEO Yves Guillemont says that the studio is handling the situation, abusers like Ricour and many others have gone unpunished and new reports of abuse unanswered. After the walkout at Activision Blizzard demanding change following the California lawsuit against that company last month, Ubisoft employees even signed their own letter in support of the Activision Blizzard employees, and criticized Ubisoft leadership for not taking better accountability and action.
TAFEP states that reports of criminal offenses will involve the police, while the Ministry of Manpower will deal with labor and discrimination disputes. The ministry also reportedly has the power to block Ubisoft’s ability to apply for work visas for its foreign staff. This could spell disaster for the largely French-based publisher, of whom the management is mostly made up of foreign citizens.
This is just the latest in official investigations into discriminatory workplace culture and harassment at game developers and publishers. Just last month the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing conducted a two-year investigation into Activision Blizzard, resulting in the recent allegations and lawsuits. Riot has also faced similar allegations and lawsuits as both agencies and employees demand change.[Source: Kotaku]