The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has ordered three workplaces in Singapore to stop operations due to its failure in meeting safe management measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission at work.
As businesses in the country are resuming operations following the circuit breaker protocol lifted on Monday (Jun 1), the government strictly encouraged workplaces to provide adequate safe management measures. The instruction was first shared on May 9.
Based on MOM’s inspection, the three workplaces punished did not ensure that adequate safe management measures were put in place. In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Jun 2), MOM said that these employers were found instructing all employees to return to work in the office, instead of making provisions to allow employees to continue working from home.
MOM also issued 14 composition fines to employers who breached requirements for safe management measures. The ministry added that employers will be required to explain their actions if it receives complaints from employees who have been asked to return to the workplace or office despite being able to work from home as they had done so during the circuit breaker period.
“If they are unable to provide a reasonable explanation, we will have to take enforcement action accordingly in order to protect employees,” it said, as reported by Channel News Asia.
Mr Silas Sng, divisional director of the MOM’s occupational safety and health division said it is “understandable” that some employers may be eager to have employees return to work in the office after the two-month long circuit breaker period.
“However, we would like to remind
employers that working from home must remain the default working
arrangement for employees who are able to do so,” Mr Sng said.
MOM also urged all employers and workers to pay attention and take the safe management measures seriously. More information on safe management measures requirements can be found at http://go.gov.sg/newsmm3jun.