Singapore has launched the Infectious Diseases Act to urge employers to adopt flexible work arrangements in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19. As of April 2nd, the government made it an offence for employers that fail to take appropriate measures when and where possible. Employers who do not make facilities available for members of staff to work from home where possible could be fined up to S$10,000 (approx. USD 7000) and/or jailed for up to six months under changes to the Infectious Diseases Act.
- According to the Act, every company must provide facilities that are necessary for every employee to telecommute. Companies are also compelled to instruct its employees to work remotely, unless it is “not reasonably practicable to do so”.
- Employers have to implement specific arrival and departure times for employees that are unable to telecommute, to minimize physical contact among staff.
- Employers must take steps to ensure at least 1m between each individual in the workplace, adhering to social distancing measures.
- Visitors should not arrive at the same time and should not stay for longer than deemed necessary.
- According to the Ministry of Manpower, about 40 percent of firms in the Central Business District have permitted their employees to work from home until now. As the new regulation is further enforced, this percentage is expected to increase.
Source: Channel News Asia