MOM shuts 3 workplaces for asking staff back to office

14 employers in Singapore were also handed composition fines for not implementing adequate safe management measures.
By: | June 5, 2020

Three companies in Singapore were ordered to stop operations while 14 were handed composition fines for not implementing adequate safe management measures, including asking their employees to come to the office when they are able to work from home.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced the penalties after conducting inspections on over 200 workplaces as of June 3 – a day after the end of the ‘circuit breaker’ period.

READ: MOM: Employees should continue WFH after circuit breaker

Despite businesses being able to resume operations, employers must allow their staff to work from home as a default option unless they have no alternative other than to be in the office.

MOM added employers will be asked to explain their actions if it receives complaints from employees who have been told to return to the workplace despite being able to work from home during the ‘circuit breaker’ period.

“If they are unable to provide a reasonable explanation, we will have to take enforcement action accordingly in order to protect employees,” it said.

Silas Sng, divisional director of the occupational safety and health division at the MOM, added, “It is understandable that some employers may be eager to bring their employees back to work in the office after two months of circuit breaker.

“However, we would like to remind employers that working from home must remain the default working arrangement for employees who are able to do so,” he added.