Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) inspected over 530 workspaces during the period of 8 to 21 May 2021 and fined 11 companies for breaches of Safe Management Measures (SMMs) for failing to implement work-from-home (WFH) as the default arrangement. The 11 companies were issued fines of SGD1,000 each.
Singapore recently re-entered Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) of its plan to ease the circuit breaker measures that were imposed last year following an increase in COVID-19 cases. Effective from 16 May to 13 June 2021, the SMMs were updated to require employers to ensure all employees who are able to WFH do so.
For employees who are unable to WFH, employers should review their work processes and provide the necessary IT equipment to employees and adopt solutions that enable remote working and online collaboration. In addition, employers should continue to stagger start times of employees who need to return to the workplace and implement flexible working hours. Social gatherings at the workplace are not permitted.
Employers who carry out operations on-site must now declare their on-site manpower details at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg. They must update the information whenever there are significant changes. This is to enable the government to monitor the level of on-site workforce in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at the workplace.
Other general measures have also been introduced outside the workplace as a result of returning to Phase 2. These include: the maximum number of group gatherings has been reduced from 5 to 2; no dining-in at F&B establishments is permitted; and residents may receive a maximum of 2 household visitors per day (among other things).
The updated SMMs can be found on MOM’s website.