Singapore defines flexible work to benefit employees and employers

A new tripartite workgroup has begun deliberations to develop guidelines that will drive flexible work in Singapore workplaces.
By: | September 11, 2023

Representatives of the Singapore government, the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), as well as various union, employer, workplace fairness and professional bodies, have begun the process of defining the guidelines on flexible work arrangements (FWAs), including the scope to focus on and key objectives.

The tripartite workgroup will be crafting the Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangements, which will be launched in 2024.

The guidelines recommended by the workgroup will aim to ensure that FWA requests are fairly and properly considered in a practical manner, with both employers and employees’ needs in mind, said Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The workgroup will also develop a strategy to support employers and employees in following the guidelines, while also suggesting solutions to push effective and sustainable provision and use of FWAs, reported The Straits Times.

According to MOM, the new FWA guidelines, which is mandatory for employees to follow, will further help employees achieve better work-life harmony, while promoting a more engaged and productive workforce. Employers who also offer FWAs also see higher talent attraction and retention rates.

“As Singapore is fast becoming a ‘super-aged’ society with growing caregiver needs and tight labour supply, FWAs have also become increasingly important to enable more employees to continue working or re-enter the workforce while managing their caregiving commitments,” MOM added.

READ MORE: Bridging inequalities through an inclusive approach to flexible working

The 11-member workgroup is jointly chaired by Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State for Manpower and Education; Yeo Wan Ling, director of NTUC’s women and family unit and its small-and-medium enterprise unit; and Edwin Ng, SNEF’s honorary secretary. A smaller group within the main workgroup will develop a resource package to help employees and employers, co-chaired by Faith Li, general manager of the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices, and Aslam Sardar, chief executive of the Institute for Human Resource Professionals.