Working from home just got easier for many Singapore workers

Over 250 companies have already signed up for a new tripartite standard focusing on flexible working arrangements.

While flexible work arrangements have become increasingly common in Singapore in recent years, having these options became more certain for Singapore workers on Friday (October 6), when a new tripartite standard promoting such practices was launched.

Short of being a legal requirement, this new set of voluntary guidelines aims to encourage Singapore employers to provide employees with flexi-work offerings like part-time work, job-sharing, staggered work hours, shorter working week with fewer work days and telecommuting.

So far, more than 250 companies have already signed up to be a part of the scheme, employing some 210,000 employees in total. Some 20% of these, said the country’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM), are local small and medium-sized enterprises.

Co-developed by MOM, the National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation, the main goal of the Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements is to make it easier for all employees to enjoy such benefits.

Although many organisations provide flexible work options, some appeared to do so only on paper. MOM found that some employees who applied for flexible arrangements were either not evaluated fairly, or were turned down without alternative solutions being proposed.

It also said that many employees also expressed they were unaware of their options of even simply how to request for such benefits from their employers.

Companies who have adopted the latest standard are required to appoint a senior management member to champion flexible work options, while ensuring that employees are properly informed of the available offerings, how to apply, and alternative arrangements if the existing solutions are not applicable to their situations.

Line managers will also have to be trained to evaluate their employees’ needs fairly while setting realistic goals and targets for team members.  

If employees find that their employers are not upholding the standard, they can speak to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, which will then monitor the company and help it to improve.

This initiative has come at a time when there has been a greater push for more work-life balance and family time.

My Family Weekend, a nationwide movement promoting a more family-friendly environment with the involvement of the Singapore government, employers and community partners, for example, was launched last month.

Still, the standards are by no means an arbitrary regulation. As Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said at the scheme’s launch, every entity has their own needs and what would work for them.

"We need to give companies some flexibility in how they design flexible work arrangements, so that they suit their employees' needs as well as their business operations,” said Teo. 

This scheme is the second in a series of guidelines that will be launched in the coming months. The first, The Tripartite Standard on Employment of Term Contract Employees, was launched in July this year. 

Click here for more Compensation and Benefits News Click here for more Diversity News Click here for more Employee engagement and experience News Click here for more Employee Health and Wellness News Click here for more HR professional development News Click here for more Leadership News Click here for more Learning and Development News Click here for more Mobility News Click here for more Recruitment News Click here for more SMEs News Click here for more Talent Management News
Infographic: Promotions without pay raises
- 13 Jun 2018
According to a new survey, more companies are offering promotions without raises -- and many workers are willing to accept them.
UK companies to publish worker to boss pay gap
- 12 Jun 2018
UK companies will more than 250 employees will have to reveal the pay gap between the average worker and the CEO.
Cities with the fattest paychecks
- 11 Jun 2018
Deutsche Bank's annual "Mapping the Worldʹs Prices" survey looks into global prices and living standards globally.
Employers willing to pay more for the right talent
Kelvin Ong - 08 Jun 2018
In today's ongoing war for talent, employers are well aware that money talks.
Walmart to subsidise US college tuition
- 04 Jun 2018
The subsidy will apply to supply chain management and business courses at three different US universities.
More Singapore employers increased wages in 2017
Kelvin Ong - 31 May 2018
The upward salary trend, according to the Singapore Manpower Ministry, comes on the back of a recovering economy.