Flexible work favoured by Singapore companies
Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang said details of the government’s policies on such work arrangements will be announced in an upcoming White Paper on women’s development in Singapore.
“In 2021, 73% of companies that adopted flexible arrangements said they were likely to continue offering them post-COVID-19,” she said. One out of four workers are now employed by companies that have adopted the Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements, and the numbers are growing, she added.
Where remote work is not possible, the government is encouraging employers to consider other forms of flexible work arrangements, like flexi-shift scheduling, staggered work hours and job sharing, which offer workers flexibility.
Arrangements such as “flexi-time, flexi-workplace or flexi-workload” will allow not only more women to keep working, but also more men to share caregiving duties at home, she said.
The government will not, however, legislate flexible work arrangements or other workplace practices such as after-hours communication, mandatory breastfeeding breaks or leave provisions, Gan said, but will instead “focus on equipping employers to find the right balance between supporting employees’ needs and business needs”.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s unemployment rates fell to pre-pandemic levels in January. The overall unemployment rate declined to 2.3% from 2.4% the month before, while resident and citizen unemployment rates also fell by 0.1 percentage point to 3.1% and 3.3% month-on-month, respectively, according to the Ministry of Manpower.