Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM), NTUC, and the Singapore National Employers Federation have jointly launched the Tripartite Advisory on Mental Wellbeing at Workplaces, on 17 November (Tuesday).

In a statement, the Tripartite Partners said the Advisory sets out practical guidance on measures employers can adopt to support their employees' mental wellbeing, and provides resources that employers, employees and the self-employed can tap on.

This comes about with increasing attention being placed on the mental wellbeing of employees, and growing recognition on how a negative work environment could impact their mental health; while workplaces that promote mental wellbeing were more likely to observe increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.

The Tripartite Partners also highlighted more instances of employees experiencing stress and a higher risk of burnout, following the shift to work-from-home arrangements in recent months.

In light of the above, the Tripartite Advisory recommends the following practices for employers to adopt in support of their employees’ wellbeing:

  • Appoint mental wellness champions to raise employees’ awareness on mental well-being and mental health conditions through talks and workshops;
  • Provide access to counselling services such as Employee Assistance Programmes to allow employees to speak to a professional on their work and non-work-related challenges;
  • Train managers to spot signs of mental distress, and on where they can refer employees to seek help from; and
  • Recognise the need for employees to have adequate rest outside work hours by establishing a work-life harmony policy to provide clarity on after-hours work communication.

Employees and the self-employed are also advised to look after their own mental wellbeing and to seek help if they ever feel overwhelmed.

Commenting on the launch, Melvin Yong, Assistant Secretary-General, NTUC, said: “In this prolonged period of telecommuting work arrangements, I understand that many workers are facing greater mental stress from juggling work and personal commitments while having to adapt to the COVID guidelines and restrictions. 

“The Tripartite Advisory on Mental Well-being at Workplaces will help to reassure workers that safeguards are in place to support their mental well-being.”

Thus, he added, the guidelines, particularly the part on establishing a work-life harmony policy for employees to rest and recharge after work, will benefit many workers especially those suffering and those who are at risk from workplace burnout.

In addition to the above, the Tripartite Partners have also provided a set of quick tips for working from home, available here and in the table below. 

   Employers   Employees 

 #1 Make        home safe and productive

  • Provide guidance on how to set up a conducive workspace at home

 
  • Check for accident risks (e.g.no loose wires to avoid tripping)

  •  Make your work
    space 
    ergonomically comfortable

  • Sleep well, keep fit, eat healthy

 #2 Set boundaries

  • Establish a work-life harmony policy to provide clarity on after-hours work communication 
  • Take lunch breaks and regular short breaks (e.g. move away from screen every hour, stretch breaks) 

  • Discuss work schedules that meet both work and personal needs with supervisor 
 #3 Keep data secure
  • Provide guidance and resources (e.g. equipment, training) to secure data 
  • Abide by employer practices on data security 
 #4 Stay connected
  •  Have regular check-ins
  • Look out for employees who display excessive stress or burnout
  • Stay connected with colleagues, including on non-work issues 

  • Explore available resources offered by your employer and the community to improve mental wellbeing 

  • Seek help if needed


Photo / 123RF 

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