Employers in Singapore urged to allow staff to take on second jobs
The National Wages Council (NWC) of Singapore has urged employers to allow their staff whose income have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to take on second jobs.
This is to help employees supplement their incomes if they have been affected by a shorter work week or temporary layoffs.
Laying out the regulations and the types of second jobs employees are allowed to take on, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has published a guide on second-job arrangements.
“Employers are encouraged to waive contractual prohibitions against taking on a second job and help employees resolve conflicts of interest where possible, given that they initiated the reduced work hours and reduced salaries to save costs,” the guide stated.
“Employees should ensure that they are able to take on both jobs without compromising the interests of each employer and be transparent in terms of the requirements of both jobs to their employers,” it added.
The NWC also urged firms to continue paying the annual wage supplement, or 13th-month bonus as far as possible, and that management should lead by example if they have to cut pay in order to save jobs. Special consideration should also be given to low-wage workers earning a basic monthly wage of up to S$1,400. For instance, their pay should be frozen rather than cut should there be company-wide wage cuts.
In addition, it recommended that employers focus on training and upskilling workers, and consider “timebanking”, which is to reduce weekly working hours without adjusting wages, with the understanding that workers will work extra hours accordingly in the future.