Employers can check in at least once a week with their employees who are working from home due to safe distancing measures. They should also keep those who had been suspended from work, because of cost-cutting measures, updated on the company’s salary and leave arrangements.
These are among the ways that the Government is urging companies to consider to support their worker’s mental well-being during the coronavirus pandemic when the economy has been hit and workers may feel insecure about their jobs.
They can also provide flexible work schedules for parents of young children, according to an advisory on Friday (April 24) by the Manpower and Social and Family Development Ministries, the Agency for Integrated Care, the Institute of Mental Health and the National Council of Social Service.
The agencies encouraged workers and the self-employed to maintain a social support circle, stay active and healthy, and tap Government grants and assistance to help tide them through uncertainties. They can also look for job opportunities through the SGUnited Jobs initiative, the agencies added.
The advisory comes a day after a 46-year-old construction worker from India was found motionless at a staircase landing at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on Thursday morning and later died from his injuries. He was confirmed to have Covid-19. Police investigations into his death are being carried out, The New Paper reports.
The inter-agency advisory noted that the pandemic “has led to significant disruptions to work arrangements”. “It has hit our economy hard and brought about many uncertainties to our workers, including employees and self-employed persons,” the advisory added.
It pointed out that working from home and work suspension during Covid-19 could be mental health stressors, with some employees anxious about job security.
Others such as the self-employed may worry about their work prospects and income, it added, noting that parents with young children would also have to balance work with supervising their children’s home-based learning.
“Working remotely for a prolonged period may lead to social isolation,” the advisory said, urging employers and workers to take practical steps to ensure their mental well-being.
A list of providers that aim to help employees’ mental well-being is on the Manpower Ministry’s website.
Meanwhile, self-employed people who marginally missed the eligibility criteria for a relief scheme and are in difficult circumstances can submit an appeal to the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), the organisation said on Friday.
NTUC and its freelancers and self-employed unit will be helping to administer applications and appeals for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, which gives eligible people three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000 in May, July and October.