MOM reminds HR of the importance of 'workplace wellbeing'

This is part of Singapore's Safe Management Measures at the workplace

MOM reminds HR of the importance of 'workplace wellbeing'

Employers in Singapore are being urged to continue supporting their employees as the government starts easing restrictions on workplaces starting March 15.

According to the Ministry of Manpower, the mental well-being of employees should be pursued even if they are working from home or on-site. To do so, they can adopt the recommendations stipulated in the Tripartite Advisory on mental well-being at workplaces, which outlines a string of guidelines that employers can implement to support their employees' well-being.

The advisory, initially put out back in 2020, states that work stress can harm the employees' mental well-being, and it can be resolved in the individual, department, and organisation levels.

On the individual level, employers are urged to consider the following recommendations:

  • appoint mental wellness champions to raise awareness on mental well-being and health conditions through talks and workshops
  • provide access to counselling services that will allow employees to speak to professionals on their work and non-work-related problems
  • extend the scope of medical benefits to include mental well-being programmes, consultations, and treatments

On the department level, organisations are encouraged to take the following guidelines:

  • train managers, supervisors, peer support leaders, and more to spot signs of mental distress and where they can refer employees if they need to seek support
  • create a psychologically safe and trusting work environment be engaging staff with open and regular conversations on mental well-being
  • strengthen social support system at the workplace

Read more: Singapore raises efforts to improve employee health

On the organisation level, companies are urged to consider the following recommendations

  • review the state of employees' mental well-being regularly as part of risk assessment for workplace health
  • review policies to ensure that hiring and workplace practices, as well as performance management systems are merit-based and non-discriminatory
  • implement flexible work arrangements to help employees meet work and personal demands
  • establish a work-life harmony policy
  • establish return-to-work policies to support employees recovering from mental health conditions

The reminder from the Manpower Ministry came as the updated Safe Management Measures take effect across workplaces in Singapore. The measures see the lifting of the following restrictions on-site:

  • Demarcation of safe distancing (e.g. in meeting rooms)
  • Restriction on cross-deployment across workplaces
  • Staggering of start times and break times
  • Temperature-taking at the workplace
  • Limiting workplace access to essential employees and authorised visitors
  • Evacuation plan for suspected COVID-19 cases
  • Deep cleaning for positive COVID-19 cases at the workplace
  • Requirements for work-related events with more than 50 attendees to implement zoning, and to be static

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