MOM reveals guidelines to manage work-life harmony

The new tripartite standard paints a win-win scenario

MOM reveals guidelines to manage work-life harmony

Employees in Singapore can expect to receive proper workplace support for achieving work/life balance with the launch of a new tripartite standard. The guidelines released on Monday aim to help people cope with the new normal of work, especially now, when companies are gradually welcoming staff back on site.

The Tripartite Standard on Work-Life Harmony – launched by the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore National Employers Federation, and National Trades Union Congress – comes in response to the new challenges employees face in the era of hybrid working. The standard is an invitation for businesses to improve remote work arrangements; subsidise employee health screenings; and increase or extend family caregiver leave, among other benefits.

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“In this new normal, Singaporeans are becoming more used to hybrid work, but are also increasingly concerned about the blurring of work-life boundaries, and hope to be able to juggle work and personal commitments better,” said Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State for Manpower. While the new guidelines also serve as a benchmark for employer support, the minister recognised how different classes of workers, across industries, have unique requirements.

For this reason, the work/life standard gives employers and HR leaders a range of options to take inspiration from – and apply – in their respective work settings. The point, ultimately, is to make their employees’ professional and personal lives less stressful, more focused and more distinct from one another.

One area of concern involves workers with family/child care obligations. The MOM, employer group and unions call for work-from-home arrangements, additional leave credits and flexible shifts. As such, the guidelines complement the 2017 Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements.

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The guidelines also steer employers into developing a communication plan for promoting a positive work culture and supporting workers who may be feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. They also urge businesses to assign a specialist, preferably a senior manager, who will advocate healthy practices at work and at home. Companies can also collect feedback from employees through pulse surveys or focus group discussions.

“A work/life friendly workplace is a win-win situation for both employers and employees,” the MOM said. “Work-life strategies are measures you can put in place to help your employees manage work responsibilities alongside personal needs. They help raise employee productivity at work and make your organisation more competitive.”

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