Work-from-home still advised by MOM, NTUC & SNEF, but peak-hour travel in Jan. 2021 up by 11%

The prevailing Safe Management Measures for workplaces are unchanged, even though S'pore is in Phase 3.

Nigel Chua | January 22, 2021, 09:38 PM

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When Singapore transited from Phase 1 to Phase 2, more businesses were allowed to resume operations, though they were advised to ensure that work from home remained the default setting.

The same advisory remains in place even in Phase 3, according to the tripartite partners, which comprise The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).

In a joint statement, the three partners said that work-from-home (WFH) should remain the default arrangement at workplaces, to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission at the workplace.

This is because adjustments to the prevailing Safe Management Measures (SMMs) have been postponed, due to recent trends in Covid-19 cases in the community — including cases at workplaces — as well as potentially more transmissible strains of Covid-19 in Singapore.

Peak-hour travel on the rise

While the SMMs for workplaces remain unchanged from Phase 2, the statement said that peak-hour travel has increased by 11 per cent in January 2021, as compared to November 2020.

Under the prevailing SMM advisory, employers are not only required to allow employees to WFH as the default, but must implement flexible work hours so that employees can commute during off-peak periods, should they need to return to their workplaces.

At least half of the employees should start work at or after 10am, the statement said.

"The tripartite partners call on employers to implement staggered work hours more extensively," it added.

Companies should not organise CNY gatherings or activities

The statement also reminded companies that they should not organise Chinese New Year gatherings or social activities, as these are not considered work-related events, and are not allowed.

This includes activities like lohei, or Chinese New Year meals.

"While we understand the desire for more physical workplace interactions, we urge employers and employees to stay vigilant in the fight against Covid-19," said the statement.

Top photo via LTA on Facebook

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