SINGAPORE: Encouraging employers to adopt flexible work arrangements is a “more pragmatic and feasible approach” to promoting work-life harmony than reducing work hours, said Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.
“Flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or flexible working hours, can allow employees to find the right fit that suits their personal needs,” Mr Tan said. “Many research studies have also shown that employees on flexible work arrangements are also more productive and engaged at the workplace.”
This was in response to a question raised in Parliament by NMP K Karthikeyan on whether the Ministry of Manpower would consider reducing official work hours to 40 hours per week to achieve work-life balance.
The Manpower Minister stated the Employment Act regulates that for employees earning a basic monthly salary not exceeding S$2,500 and workmen with a basic monthly salary not exceeding S$4,500, their work hours should not be more than eight hours a day, or 44 hours a week.
Those who work longer at the request of their employer will have to be paid extra for overtime work, he added.
“For other employees whose work hours are not regulated by law, their nature of work is not time-based. As such, it is not practical for the Government to regulate their working hours,” Mr Tan stated.
ENCOURAGING FLEXI-WORK ARRANGEMENTS
The minister added he is “heartened” that more employers are now offering flexible work arrangements to their employees. About 44 per cent of organisations in Singapore offered at least on form of such arrangements in 2013, up from 25 per cent in 2007, he noted.
Going forward, the Tripartite Committee (TriCom) on Work-Life Strategy will organise a week-long Work-Life Campaign in November to increase awareness of the benefits of flexible work arrangements.
In conjunction with the campaign, the TriCom will also be issuing a Tripartite Advisory on Flexible Work Arrangements to guide employers, supervisors and employees in implementing and using flexible work arrangements, he said.
news source & image credit: channelnewsasia.com