With the rising number of locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases in Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has issued a reminder to all employers that work-from-home continues to be the default.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Jul. 20), MOM stated that enforcement actions have been taken against 66 companies since the start of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) for failing to comply with safe management measures (SMM) at the workplace.
Received over 3500 pieces of feedback
With work-from-home as the default, all employers must allow all employees who are able to work from home to do so, reminded MOM.
"Limiting interactions in public spaces such as workplaces is critical to reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission," the ministry wrote.
For employees who are unable to work from home due to the nature of their work, or employees who need to return to the workplace on an ad hoc basis for work that cannot be completed at home, employers should clearly explain to them why they are required to be back at the workplace.
MOM said that employees are encouraged to clarify concerns with their employers.
Since the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) started on May 16, MOM has received more than 3,500 pieces of feedback related to workplace safe management measures.
"Some of this feedback could have been averted if employers had made adjustments to allow their employees to work from home or communicated their operational needs clearly," the ministry said.
Action taken against 66 companies
Based off of the feedback, MOM's investigations led to enforcement actions against 66 companies that failed to comply with safe management measures at workplaces.
For violating safe management measures, companies can be fined or, for more serious breaches, ordered to cease operations.
According to MOM, the most common violation of safe management measures at workplaces is failing to ensure that employees who are able to work from home do so.
Employees must also observe a safe distance of at least one metre while in the office, and social gatherings at the workplace are not currently allowed. Employees must take their meal breaks individually, and at staggered times.
In addition, clear safe distancing markers should also be placed at common areas to reduce crowding, particularly during peak hours.
MOM's full post is available here:Top photo via Facebook / Ministry of Manpower.