Singapore

Firms urged to implement flexible hours to prevent rush hour crowds

The authorities yesterday urged employers to put in place flexible working hours for their staff, so more workers can commute during off-peak hours.

Stressing the need to have "a good part of workers" travelling after 9.30am, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said: "By doing so we can reduce the risk of large crowds gathering in public transport, in public spaces and also in office buildings."

The Ministry of Manpower and its tripartite partners are actively looking at this issue, added Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi ministry task force tackling Covid-19 here.

Working from home has been the default arrangement for most companies since the circuit breaker on April 7.

After it ended on June 1, Mr Wong has said on several occasions that work-from-home arrangements should continue unless employees have a demonstrable need to return to the workplace, such as to use specialised equipment.

In a press release yesterday, the Ministry of Health said that as Singapore gradually resumes more economic activities, many employers have sought guidance on ways to allow more employees to return to the workplace safely, so as to better support business operations.

The ministry noted that with increased interactions at the workplace, the risk of Covid-19 transmission will also increase.

Therefore, it is critical that employers implement safe management measures seriously.

The ministry said: "It is in the interest of the employers to protect your workers against the risk of Covid-19. Otherwise, if a cluster is formed at the workplace, it would disrupt business severely." - THE STRAITS TIMES

Employment