Singapore warns against legislating WFH arrangements

The country believes that the approach to workplace flexibility should be inclusive, as remote working is not practical for all types of workers.
By: | January 12, 2022

Singapore’s Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang has urged against legislating work-from-home arrangements as this could impede economic recovery.

“We should not rush into hasty legislation that unintentionally creates workplace rigidity that may impede our economic recovery at this time,” said Gan, addressing Parliament.

In 2020, three quarters of employees in Singapore were employed by companies offering remote working, although the number of hours workers’ spent on remote work was unknown as the figures vary from company to company, she said. 

Gan expects work-from-home arrangements to become a more mainstream option as most employers plan to let workers telecommute for at least a quarter of the time.

The minister also said that the approach to workplace flexibility should be inclusive. Working from home is not practical for frontline workers, for instance. Therefore a holistic approach for “ “flexi-load, flexi-time or flexi-place” will be more useful, she explained.

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Gan also added that there have been efforts by tripartite partners to reach out to employers and unions to promote standards on flexible work arrangements. Currently, up to 50% of employees can return to the office in the city-state.