Work stress was recently listed as a ‘long-term challenge’ for the city-state
Should mental health be legislated in Singapore?
“Work stress” was recently identified as a long-term challenge in the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Institute’s Research Agenda for Singapore 2018-2020.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) was asked in parliament whether there would be formal legislative interventions to help employees overcome such stressors.
“While legislation is necessary to ensure employment protection, the tripartite partners prefer a promotional approach to bring about more progressive workplaces,” said Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State for Manpower.
“This recognises the diverse workforce and employers, where rigid prescriptions are unlikely to be effective or may deter employers from hiring.”
To help workers and employers deal with the challenges of mental health at the workplace, he said that the ministry will continue to raise awareness, step up education and share best practices.
In the same vein, the WSH Institute’s research on work stress aims to help MOM and companies understand employees’ perceptions of stress, what it could be linked to, and how it impacts their well-being.
The research will help in educating and socialising companies to be more aware of the effects of stress.
Another example of ongoing education efforts include the Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) on-site management training workshops. These equip managers and HR professionals with skills to recognise employees with common mental health issues, including stress, and to support employees in managing them.
HPB has also made available workplace mental health programs that give practical tips to workers on effective stress management.