WFH no longer default arrangement in Singapore

From January 1 next year, up to 50% of employees who can work from home will be allowed to return to the office.
By: | December 15, 2021

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that with the country “in a better position to ease the current default work-from-home posture”, previously announced workforce vaccination measures will kick in on that date.

The ministry had in October announced measures that mandate that only workers who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 270 days can return to the workplace. The measures also stated that unvaccinated workers will not be allowed to return to the workplace unless they have tested negative via a Pre-Event Test at an MOH-approved COVID-19 test provider.

Since September, working from home has been the default arrangement, said Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, who also co-chairs the Multi-Ministry Taskforce, but “we recognise that this arrangement is not ideal and not sustainable in the long run as face-to-face interaction is important for team dynamics as well as other operational considerations”.

Social gatherings at the workplace will continue to be disallowed to “minimise mingling and reduce infection risks”, said Gan.

READ: Singapore prepares for employees’ return to office

In addition, co-chair of the task force Lawrence Wong said the authorities are “considering” removing the concession for unvaccinated persons to return to the workplace with a negative test – which was initially allowed under the workforce vaccination measures.