New agreement to encourage flexible work arrangements in Singapore

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This is certainly good news for Singapore parents!

When it comes to parents heading back to work, or even those currently in the work force, having the option of flexible work arrangements can make a huge difference and also be a blessing to busy mums and dads, enabling them to achieve a better work-life balance. 

With this in mind, you’ll be happy to know that a new, voluntary standard to encourage flexible work arrangements was launched last Friday (October 6) by Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo.

The option of flexible working arrangements is certainly good news for Singapore parents.

Flexible work arrangements Singapore

According to Channel NewsAsia, this new tripartite agreement was jointly produced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation.

The main aim of this agreement is to ensure that employees benefit from more flexible working hours, including part-time work, job sharing, telecommuting, a shorter working week and staggered working hours. 

Mrs Teo, speaking at the launch, said that many times, employees don’t stop working even when they have other responsibilities outside of work. 

“They would prefer to continue working and at the same time meet their family or personal commitments,” she explained, according to Channel NewsAsia. 

The agreement, which is voluntary, has already seen over 250 companies signing up. Reportedly, at least one in five of these enterprises are local, small- and medium sized. Across the board, these companies employ over 200,000 employees. 

How the new standard will work

Those employers who adopt this new standard will, “inform their employees of the different types of flexible work arrangements available, as well as how to request them and what alternatives there are if their requests are turned down,” says Channel NewsAsia quoting MOM. 

Also, a member of senior management will be given the responsibility of championing these work arrangements. 

So let’s say you work for such a company and want to apply for a flexible work arrangement, the following will be the process: 

  • You will be told about the various types of flexible work arrangements that your company offers, how to request for the type that suits your lifestyle, and what is expected of you in this arrangement. 
  • After you apply, a trained supervisor will objectively assess your application. This person will also be responsible for managing and tracking all those who take up flexible work arrangements. 

If a company is interested is adopting this new Standard, according to MOM, 

  • The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) will assist them to do so, and conduct the necessary workshops in this regards
  • Those who have already adopted the Standard will be listed on TAFEP’s website. They will also have access to a logo that recognises them as progressive employers. 
  • Funding for the new Standard is available via the WorkPro Work-Life Grant

Here’s how it would benefits one Singaporean dad: 

Feinmetall Singapore is a company that has adopted this new standard. This is how one of their staff members – dad of two Steven Ngo – benefits from it. 

“I had to start work at 8am. So let’s say my son, I cannot send him to school 7.15, 7.20 and then I rush here. Usually I won’t be able to make it on time.”

However, with the new arrangement, Mr Ngo is able to start work 30 minutes later, which enables him to drop his son at school each morning. 

Reference: Channel NewsAsia. 

We think parents would benefit immensely from this scheme, if their employers were to adopt it. What do you think? Tell us in a comment below.