42 S'pore firms fined for getting staff to go back to office when they could work from home

When meetings could be an email.

Belmont Lay | February 01, 2021, 04:02 PM

A total of 42 firms in Singapore have been fined over a three-and-a-half-month period when working from home has been the default option.

The employers were penalised for failing to adhere to workplace safe management measures and safe distancing at the office.

The fines were meted out between Sep. 28, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2021, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) told The Straits Times.

The most common violation was having employees report to the office even though they could work from home.

Another common violation was the failure to put clear safe distancing markers in common areas at the workplace.

A total of 5,380 workplaces were inspected.

Previously, in June, 2020, 52 employers were each fined S$1,000.

Seven workplaces were shut down for lapses.

The transport and storage sector were targeted for inspection during the end of the year festive period due an upsurge in activity.


Three out of four active Covid-19 clusters now have links to the workplace.

There is a renewed risk due to the new Covid-19 strains, which could be more transmissible, as well as an increase in virus cases in the community recently.

Caps on the number of workers allowed back to offices were instituted at the end of the Circuit Breaker period in June, 2020, when workplace safe management measures were introduced.

These measures were eased on Sep. 28.

However, the Singapore National Employers Federation, the National Trades Union Congress and MOM said in January 2021 that working from home should still be the default arrangement.

Top photo via Google Maps