As Singapore is tightening its Covid-19 measures, business owners are urged to let their staff work from home whenever their job nature allows it. In May, only 50 percent (down from 75 percent) of employees are allowed to return to the workplace. Since May 16, this has been further tightened to working from home as the default arrangement.
Unfortunately, not all employers can meet this arrangement. In a recent press release launched on Monday (May 24), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said they have fined eleven companies for failing to ensure work-from-home as a default arrangement for employees who are able to do so. The penalised companies were among more than 530 workplaces inspected between May 8 and May 21.
Further, MOM and MTI intended to increase inspections of workplaces in order to ensure that the latest guidelines are properly implemented. MOM said the 11 companies were issued fines of S$1,000 each, Channel News Asia reports.
“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,” said the ministries.
Only employees who are unable to work from home due to the nature of their work, such as requiring access to equipment only available at the workplace, can continue to work on-site, they added.
For businesses that carry out operations on-sire, MOM and MTI urged them to declare their manpower details online by May 28 and update the information whenever there are significant changes. The ministries emphasised that enforcement action will be taken against the employer if workers who are able to work from home are found working on-site. This is even if the total number of workers on-site is at or below the declared number of workers.
Breaches of workplace safety measures can be reported through the SnapSAFE app. The identities of whistle-blowers will be kept strictly confidential, said the ministries.
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