Default Work From Home Arrangements for Workplaces from Sep 27

NewsSeptember 30, 2021 15:23

Written by Clare Chong

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that Working from Home (WFH) will be the default working mode for staff who are able to do so in view of the rising COVID-10 cases in Singapore lately. This will take place from Sep 27 to Oct 24, a further tightening of workplace restrictions.

Heightened COVID-19 Measures to manage rising cases

A cap of 50 per cent of staff was allowed to be in the workplace previously. The previous 10-day “snap” WFH directive when COVID-19 cases were found at the workplace will be suspended for this current default WFH period.

MOH said that employees are not to be deployed across different worksites and social gatherings at workplaces are also not permissible. Employees who need to return to their workplace for ad-hoc reasons may only do so after testing negative with an antigen rapid test (ART).

Staggered and flexible working hours should be in place for staff who are required to work on-site. These workers are also “strongly encouraged” to self-test weekly via ART to keep the workplace safe.

Affected Sectors to receive enhanced support
The Jobs Support Scheme support will be enhanced by the authorities from Sep 27 to Oct 24 as well to aid sectors that are “significantly affected” by the above measures. The support measures will cost $650 million, drawn from revenues collected to date and will target sectors like gyms and fitness centres, tourism, cinemas and retail as well as food and beverage.

A two-week rental waiver will be granted to qualifying tenants on government-owned commercial sites. Cooked food and market stallholders in National Environment Agency (NEA)-managed centres will receive the rental waiver. Occupiers of Privately-owned commercial properties will similarly receive the relief cash payout under the Rental Support Scheme. 

The COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund payout to support private hire and taxi drivers will be extended to receive $5 and $10 per vehicle per day in October and November respectively.

What are your thoughts on the recent tightening of COVID-19 workplace measures? Do you think WFH as a default mode is the way to go for the foreseeable future?

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