Almost half of employers in Singapore now offer at least one flexible working arrangement (FWA) for their employees.

This finding from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) follows its recent thrust to encourage employers to adopt FWAs, by introducing a set of guidelines.

The number of firms providing at least one formal FWA has risen steadily from 38% in 2011, to 47% in 2014, among 3,800 private sector employers.

Part-time work remained the most prevalent form of flexible working, offered by at least one in every three employers. This was followed by flexi-time (12%), staggered hours (11%), and formal tele-working (5.8%).

The services sector was most likely to offer at least one type of formal FWA (55%) , more than employers in manufacturing (36%) and construction (31%).

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"FWAs such as part-time working, flexitime, staggered hours, and tele-working, facilitate a work-life fit for employees and enable them to better meet their personal and career aspirations," said the report.

It found a rise in employers allowing tele-working on an informal or ad-hoc basis, instead of formalising tele-working arrangements. Almost one in five (19%) firms provided staff with informal tele-working, higher than formal tele-working (5.8%).

There was also a trend among companies to offer leave benefits beyond statutory requirements; 89% provided compassionate leave, while 71% provided marriage leave.

Four in 10 offered leave of more than a month for employees to pursue personal interests, go on a sabbatical, or to attend to family matters.

However, 15 days of paid annual leave continued to be the norm. This was most prevalent among rank-and-file employees, while a majority of management and executive level staff were provided paid annual leave ranging between 15 to 21 days.

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The five-day work-week was another norm that held steady, applicable for 46% of full-time employees. Meanwhile, 19% reported having a work-week of six days, and 14% working five-and-a-half days.

Staff absenteeism due to illness remained stable over the years. 58% of employees reported taking outpatient sick leave, for an average duration of 4.7 days, the same as 2011.

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