Workplace arrangements to be reviewed under Singapore’s Phase 3 opening

Are Singapore companies ready to return to the workplace?
By: | December 17, 2020

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that Singapore’s multi-ministry task force is reviewing workplace arrangements, with discussions ongoing and further details to be announced at a later date. 

Dr T Chandroo, chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) told the Business Times that it “anticipates that more employees would gradually return to workplaces”.

Arrangements made by businesses should however depend on the size of the firm and employees’ roles, he said. 

“Our understanding is that smaller companies would like all their staff to [be] present and this is totally understandable given their size. As for larger groups, the discretion is solely left to their HR departments to exercise flexibility,” Chandroo added. 

To help jobseekers during the pandemic, the Singapore government has since rolled out various traineeships and industry attachment programmes for fresh grads and mid-career jobseekers. 

As of early December, over 4,700 fresh graduates have taken up the opportunity, while 430 mid-career workers have been placed into attachments across 170 companies. 

READ: Two Cents: The emergence of the hybrid workforce

Minister Teo attributes the difference in take-up to mid-career workers being more selective than fresh graduates in their selection. 

“From the mid-career person’s point of view… we already have some sense of what we are suited for and we also have some sense of how we can best contribute to our prospective employers,” she said.