Singapore employers mandated to consider requests for flexi-work

Employers told to have processes in place to allow flexible work requests

Singapore employers mandated to consider requests for flexi-work

Employers across Singapore have been mandated to start considering formal requests for flexible work arrangements from employees starting in December.

This comes after the government accepted all the recommendations made by the Tripartite Workgroup on the Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) Requests.

Under the guidelines, employers must establish processes that will allow and consider formal requests for FWAs.

"Formal requests may be defined as requests that are documented and that contain the information needed for the employer make an informed decision," the recommendations read.

These requests for FWAs may include flexi-place, flexi-time, and flexi-load, according to the guidelines.

Source: Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangement Requests

Employers are required to properly consider these formal requests based on business needs and communicate their decision within two months.

The guidelines do not prevent employers from rejecting FWA requests, but encourage employers to explore alternative options with the employee.

FWA requests easier to request

MOM said the guidelines will make it easier for employees to request FWAs, while acknowledging that employers will continue to have the authority to decide on work arrangements.

"The Tripartite Guidelines on FWA Requests will guide employees to make requests for FWAs responsibly and help employers assess such requests properly," said Edwin Ng, co-chair of the Tripartite Workgroup, in a statement.

"This would help to maintain harmonious employment relations as both employees and employers can discuss practical and sustainable work arrangements that can meet the needs of both parties. Nonetheless, employers can and should continue with their existing FWA practices if they have worked well for them and their employees."

Source: Singapore's Ministry of Manpower

Yeo Wan Ling, co-chair of the Tripartite Workgroup, said the guidelines will help normalise FWAs in the workplace.

"Access to Flexible Work Arrangements is often the main consideration for caregivers, women workers and senior workers when it comes to deciding to stay or return to the workforce," Yeo said in a statement.

"The Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangement Requests is a milestone enhancement to the normalisation of FWAs in the workplace, as it puts into place formalised and clear processes for workers to request for flexible work arrangements."

The guidelines come after the government's strong encouragement to employers over the past years to extend flexible working arrangements, which have been made popular by the pandemic.

Recent articles & video

Singapore Airlines to grant hefty bonuses after record earnings: reports

'It was really business critical to think about wellbeing in a very holistic way'

Advisory on accommodating people with disabilities to be out later this year

How are employers responding to the Israel-Hamas conflict?

Most Read Articles

What roles are most in demand in Singapore?

Fired over an extended overseas trip? Singapore’s High Court favours employer

KPMG in Singapore to hike employees' salaries starting October