The Ministry of Manpower has stressed it will be increasing its workplace inspections to ensure employers comply, and those who are allowed to perform their roles from home are doing so.
Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has fined 11 employers for breaching the current Safe Management Measures (SMM). These employers, the Ministry said, had failed to ensure work-from-home (WFH) as a default arrangement for employees who are able to do so.
These fines come following a round of inspections by the Ministry from 8 May to 21 May 2021, involving more than 530 workplaces.
In light of this, MOM has stressed that per the latest advisory for SMMS at the workplace, issued on 14 May, employers must implement WFH as a default arrangement, i.e. all employees whose roles can be performed from home must do so.
"Employers must provide the necessary facilities and direct their employees to work from home wherever possible. Only employees who are unable to work from home due to the nature of the work (e.g. the role requires access to equipment only accessible at the workplace) can continue to work on-site."
On this note, the Ministry of Trade and Industry recently announced that employers are required to declare their on-site manpower to the Government by this Friday, 28 May 2021. This update can be done via GoBusiness Singapore, which provides a step-by-step guide on how to submit details of on-site manpower, as well as of additional manpower.
Additionally, MOM has stressed that if there are employees who have to work onsite, employers must ensure there are "adequate" SMMs in place, including:
- Staggering start times and allowing flexible workplace hours;
- No cross-deployment across workplaces or worksites;
- No social gatherings at the workplace;
- Meal breaks must be taken individually and at staggered times;
- Masks must be worn in the workplace at all times.
"We urge employers and employees to adhere to the latest guidelines, in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at the workplace. Breaches of workplace SMMs can be reported through our SnapSAFE app, and the identity of whistle-blowers will be kept strictly confidential."
The Ministry will also be increasing the number of workplace inspections, to ensure these latest guidelines are properly implemented.