42 firms have been fined for failing to adhere to workplace safe management measures despite repeated calls by leaders and authorities to make working from home the default and to ensure safe distancing at the office.
Between September 28 last year to January 15 2021, there were 42 employers fined for such safe management measures lapses.
The most common violations were firms getting their employees to report to the office although they could work from home, and for failing to put clear safe distancing markers in common areas at the workplace.
The Ministry of Manpower inspected over 5000 workplaces.
TLast June 2020 52 fines of $1,000 each on firms for safe management measure failures and seven companies were ordered to shut for lapses.
MOM said it will continue to step up inspections and highlight areas employers should pay attention to.
Workplace safe management measures, which include caps on the number of workers allowed back in offices, were put in place at the end of the circuit breaker period in June last year.
The Singapore National Employers Federation SNEF, the National Trades Union Congress NTUC and MOM said working from home should remain the default arrangement to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission in offices. They cited the risk of new Covid-19 strains, which could be more transmissible, as well as the recent uptick in virus cases in the community.
Currently in Singapore we have four active clusters. With three have links to the workplace.
Banks such as UOB, DBS Bank and OCBC Bank have committed to giving their employees the flexibility to work remotely even after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Some of the current rules for employers:
• Employees whose jobs can be done from home must continue to work from home for at least half of their working time.
• No more than half of those who can work from home are allowed in the office at any one time.
• Meetings should be held virtually as much as possible.
• Those in the office should have flexible or staggered hours. At least half of all employees at the workplace should start at or after 10am.
• If not, there must be other arrangements to reduce congregation, such as at entrances and exits, for the different groups.
• Implement shifts or split team arrangements and avoid cross-deployment or interaction between teams, even outside of work.
• Staff must wear a mask at all times.
• Maintain a clear physical spacing of at least 1m at meeting rooms, work areas, workstations and at work events.
• Common spaces must be regularly cleaned, particularly areas with high human contact.
If you need help in your Safe Management Measures, contact us.