Singapore companies urged to have business continuity plans in place

Businesses should have procedures for staff to work longer hours to cover the work of their colleagues as Omicron cases rise, said a tripartite advisory.
By: | February 7, 2022

The advisory has urged workers to support their employers during these “difficult times” while, at the same time, calling on employers to recognise the sacrifices and contributions of their staff and rewarding them accordingly.

Singapore should prepare for “surges in infections” due to the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant, said the advisory released by the Ministry of Manpower, adding that staff absences due to COVID-19 infections can “significantly disrupt business operations”.

“The multi-ministry task force has thus called on employers, in particular those providing essential services, to prepare and be ready to implement their business continuity plans, adhere strictly to safe management measures and encourage employees to test themselves regularly, so as to dampen transmission and minimise business disruptions.”

Companies were encouraged to adopt split teams for employees who have critical functions to reduce the risk of disruption to operations. Meanwhile, other employees within the company can be trained so that they can be redeployed when their colleagues test positive for COVID-19.

Regular COVID-19 testing, adherence to workplace safe management measures and regular communication with affected employees were also recommended. 

READ: Singapore’s total employment rebounds in Q4 last year

In addition, the advisory said should the company decide to temporarily suspend operations due to the absence of employees critical to core business functions, employers could develop company policy on leave and salary arrangements in consultation with unions where applicable, according to Channel News Asia.