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FAQs on Safe Management Measures at the workplace

Find out more about the Safe Management Measures, how to implement at your workplace, and ensure your employees and visitors are protected.

General info on Safe Management Measures

Who do the requirements for Safe Management Measures apply to?Show

All businesses allowed to operate are required to have implemented Safe Management Measures.

For companies resuming operations after the circuit breaker period, all Safe Management Measures should be in place before operations can be resumed at the workplace.

Do I have to apply to resume operations at my company's workplace?Show

The Multi-Ministry Task Force has announced that selected activities and services are allowed to resume operations. Companies that fall under the list of activities and services do not need to apply before resuming operations.

Read more information on GoBusiness.

Are the requirements on Safe Management Measures mandatory, and what enforcement actions will MOM take against businesses that do not implement Safe Management Measures?Show

MOM and sector agencies will take calibrated enforcement actions based on the areas of non-compliance found. For workplaces that severely lack Safe Management Measures, we will direct employers to stop operations at the workplace. Employers will have to take steps to ensure that Safe Management Measures are in place before operations can resume.

Failure to comply with Safe Management Measures is punishable with a fine up to $10,000 or imprisonment up to 6 months, or both. Repeated non-compliance is punishable with a fine up to $20,000 or imprisonment up to 12 months, or both.

Who is empowered to enforce the requirements and how can I verify the identity of enforcement officers inspecting my workplace?Show

Enforcement action may be taken by any inspector who is appointed under section 7 of the Workplace Safety and Health Act. You may request for the inspector to show the certificate of appointment.

Where can I find more guidance on implementing Safe Management Measures in the workplace?Show

You can refer to Annex B – Checklist of Safe Management Measures at the workplace for resumption of business activities for an overview of the requirements that must be fulfilled prior to resuming business activities at your workplace.

Unionised companies are also encouraged to engage their unions on such arrangements.

Is it compulsory to fill in and maintain the checklist provided in Annex B?Show

Annex B – Checklist of Safe Management Measures at the workplace for resumption of business activities sets out the requirements needed for employers to resume operations.

Employers are not required to fill out the checklist, but must ensure that the documents listed in the checklist (or equivalent) are available upon request by officials.

When inspected by any government agency, businesses must be prepared to show that they have fulfilled the requirements.

Are there specific Safe Management Measures for each sector (e.g. construction, F&B, retail)?Show

The requirements on Safe Management Measures at the workplace released by MOM is for general workplace settings. For specific workplace settings or sector requirements, please refer to guidelines issued by the respective sector agencies.

We have received two advisories, one from MOM and another from the sector agency. Which one do we follow?Show

The advisory on Safe Management Measures and the accompanying checklist issued by MOM are for general workplaces settings.

Where there may be sector-specific considerations, companies should also refer to the sector-specific advisories issued, over and above MOM’s advisory.

My employees do not have a specific workplace as they are deployed to client's site to provide goods and services. How can I implement Safe Management Measures?Show

All employers must implement Safe Management Measures at their workplaces for all employees and contractors.

Companies that have employees deployed to other sites should also ensure that their employees comply with the Safe Management Measures put in place at these sites. In fact, some of the Safe Management Measures can be implemented by employers regardless of where employees are deployed to, such as health monitoring.

If my business activities are not listed in the permitted services list, can I apply for an exemption to resume business activities?Show

Businesses should suspend operations in their premises from 7 April 2020 onwards until they are approved by MTI to continue operations or their list of business activity falls within the permitted list allowed to operate from 2 June 2020.

Employers whose business operations are not in the list of permitted services may still return to their business facility to take care of crucial tasks that cannot be done remotely or to retrieve necessary materials or documents. No application for exemption is required.

However, if employees have to be activated to return to the workplace for short periods of time (i.e. less than a day), employers are required to apply to MTI for a time-limited exemption to do so. If employers need to maintain a skeletal workforce at the workplace for longer periods, an application for a general exemption should be submitted instead.

My company is currently operating under a General Exemption, as our business activities are currently not listed in the permitted services list. Can our employees who are currently working from home return to the workplace?Show

Companies operating under a General Exemption must submit an application for additional manpower via the GoBusiness portal, to allow more employees to return to the workplace.

What should I do if I see a business that is not in the permitted services list continuing to operate even though it is not supposed to?Show

Please report the incident to covid_gobusiness@mti.gov.sg and include relevant details such as company name, address and relevant evidence (e.g. photographs).

What should I do if my employer refuses to implement Safe Management Measures in the workplace?Show

If you notice any breach of Safe Management Measures or poor practices at the workplace, you can report it to MOM.

MOM will treat each report seriously and will keep your identity strictly confidential.

Is there a limit to the number of migrant workers a company can deploy at each renovation site?Show

Contractors should deploy a minimal number of workers at renovation workplaces and must ensure that Ministry of Manpower’s Safe Management Measures at workplaces are complied with at renovation workplaces to mitigate the risk of community transmission.

All personnel on site must observe safe management measures such as clear physical distancing, wearing of masks and must avoid socialising or congregating in groups.

If my renovation project involves more than one team of contractors, are they allowed to work at the same renovation site at the same time?Show

Different teams of contractors (main or sub-contractors) can carry out their respective work within the same renovation site, at the same time and day. However, all personnel on site must observe Safe Management Measures such as clear physical distancing, wearing of masks and must avoid socialising or congregating in groups.

The application of Safe Management Measures will vary depending on the renovation site. Employers should assess and evaluate the measures that must be taken to ensure safe distancing and ensure that the risk of COVID-19 spread at workplaces is minimised for their workers. This may include additional measures such as having staggered rest, arrival and exit timings to minimise interactions between workers from different companies.

My office is on a 5-day week. Can all my employees work at the office for 3 days a week, and then work from home for 2 days?Show

No. From 1 January 2022, up to 50% of employees who are able to work from home are allowed to return to the workplace at any point in time. You can consider other arrangements that will meet this requirement, for instance:

  • Divide your employees into 2 groups, with 1 group working from home for any given week.
  • Divide your employees into 2 groups, with a different group working from home for each day Monday to Thursday, and both groups working from home on Friday.

Additionally, only the following individuals can return to the workplace: (i) workers who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine under the National Vaccination Programme or WHO Emergency Use Listing and their respective post-vaccination duration, (ii) workers who have recovered from COVID-19 within the past 180 days, (iii) workers who are not fully vaccinated who have tested negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of returning to the workplace, via a Pre-Event Test (PET) at an MOH-approved COVID-19 test provider, (iv) workers who are medically ineligible for all the vaccines under the National Vaccination Programme.

From 15 January 2022, workers who are not fully vaccinated are not to enter the workplace, even with a negative Pre-Event Test (PET) result. A grace period until 31 January 2022 will be granted for partially vaccinated individuals (i.e. those who have taken at least 1 dose of vaccine but not yet fully vaccinated) to complete their vaccination regime. During this grace period, they will continue to be able to enter the workplace with a negative PET result.

Can my employee work at a co-working space instead of working from home?Show

From 1 January 2022, up to 50% of employees who are able to work from home are allowed to return to the co-working space, if this is their workplace.

Companies operating co-working spaces should communicate this clearly to their clients and clients should ensure that no more than 50% of employees who are able to work from home are working in the co-working space at any point in time.

I am an essential services provider. From 1 January 2022 onwards, can all my employees return to work on-site, including those who are able to work from home?Show

No. From 1 January 2022, only up to 50% of employees who are able to work from home are allowed to return to the workplace.

Additionally, only the following individuals can return to the workplace: (i) workers who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine under the National Vaccination Programme or WHO Emergency Use Listing and their respective post-vaccination duration, (ii) workers who have recovered from COVID-19 within the past 180 days, (iii) workers who are not fully vaccinated who have tested negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of returning to the workplace, via a Pre-Event Test (PET) at an MOH-approved COVID-19 test provider, (iv) workers who are medically ineligible for all the vaccines under the National Vaccination Programme.

From 15 January 2022, workers who are not fully vaccinated are not to enter the workplace, even with a negative Pre-Event Test (PET) result. A grace period until 31 January 2022 will be granted for partially vaccinated individuals (i.e. those who have taken at least 1 dose of vaccine but not yet fully vaccinated) to complete their vaccination regime. During this grace period, they will continue to be able to enter the workplace with a negative PET result.

My company has more than one workplace. How does the 50% limit on employees who can return to the workplace apply?Show

The 50% limit on employees who can return to workplace applies to each workplace.

For example, if your company has 3 workplaces, only up to 50% of employees who are able to work from home can be at each workplace at any point in time.

Additionally, only the following individuals can return to the workplace: (i) workers who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine under the National Vaccination Programme or WHO Emergency Use Listing and their respective post-vaccination duration, (ii) workers who have recovered from COVID-19 within the past 180 days, (iii) workers who are not fully vaccinated who have tested negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of returning to the workplace, via a Pre-Event Test (PET) at an MOH-approved COVID-19 test provider, (iv) workers who are medically ineligible for all the vaccines under the National Vaccination Programme.

From 15 January 2022, workers who are not fully vaccinated are not to enter the workplace, even with a negative Pre-Event Test (PET) result. A grace period until 31 January 2022 will be granted for partially vaccinated individuals (i.e. those who have taken at least 1 dose of vaccine but not yet fully vaccinated) to complete their vaccination regime. During this grace period, they will continue to be able to enter the workplace with a negative PET result.

Can my employees continue to dine in staff canteens?Show

For staff canteens that are open only to employees and regular contractors’ staff who work at the premises, employees must dine individually.

Staff canteens that are open to visitors are subject to the same requirements as other F&B establishments, including Vaccination-Differentiated SMMs.

Take care of your workers

Are companies that resumed operations required to ensure that their employees work from home?Show

From 1 January 2022, up to 50% of employees who are able to work from home can be at the workplace at any point in time.

Additionally, only the following employees can return to the workplace: (i) workers who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine under the National Vaccination Programme or WHO Emergency Use Listing and their respective post-vaccination duration, (ii) workers who have recovered from COVID-19 within the past 180 days, (iii) workers who are not fully vaccinated who have tested negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of returning to the workplace, via a Pre-Event Test (PET) at an MOH-approved COVID-19 test provider, (iv) workers who are medically ineligible for all the vaccines under the National Vaccination Programme.

From 15 January 2022, workers who are not fully vaccinated are not to enter the workplace, even with a negative Pre-Event Test (PET) result. A grace period until 31 January 2022 will be granted for partially vaccinated individuals (i.e. those who have taken at least 1 dose of vaccine but not yet fully vaccinated) to complete their vaccination regime. During this grace period, they will continue to be able to enter the workplace with a negative PET result.are not to return to the workplace, even with a negative Pre-Event Test (PET) result.

Employees who report to work onsite are encouraged to self-test weekly via an Antigen Rapid Test (ART).

Do employees who are unable to work from home need to get tested?Show

Employers are strongly encouraged to make plans for employees, contractors, and vendors who report to the workplace to self-test weekly via an Antigen Rapid Test.

Should my employees wear masks at all times? What should I do if my employee has a medical condition?Show

Everyone should wear a mask at all times, except when eating, drinking, consuming medication or engaging in strenuous physical exercise.

However, if your employee has severe medical conditions, they can wear a face shield in lieu of a mask.

What should I do if my employees are unwilling to work from home because their home is not conducive for work?Show

The overarching objective of these regulations is to reduce physical interactions in order to prevent spread of COVID-19. Employers can consider different ways to implement working arrangements that comply with the Safe Management Measures for the workplace, while taking business and employee preferences into account.

From 1 January 2022, up to 50% of employees who are able to work from home are allowed to return to the workplace at any point in time. Employers can prioritise such employees to return to the workplace.

As most of my employees are either doing frontline work or fieldwork operations, it is not feasible for me to rearrange the work such that they can work from home. Will I be penalised for not providing such work arrangements?Show

Employers must demonstrate the business or operational reasons why the workers working at the workplace are unable to work from home despite review and redesign of work processes. Our inspectors will assess the efforts put in by companies to implement work-from-home arrangements based on the practicality of whether the workers can work from home given the nature of the job.

For the safety of workers at the workplace, employers should put in place other Safe Management Measures at the workplace (e.g. ensuring safe distancing, ensuring use of SafeEntry, etc) to provide a safe working environment and minimise risk of further outbreaks.

Are there any available resources to help my business review work processes to enable my employees to work from home?Show

Yes, IMDA provides a list of digital solutions and resources that aims to make business continuity essential more accessible to businesses.

Eligible businesses can also apply for the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) to support business transformation and put in place flexible work arrangements to minimise spread of COVID-19 (e.g. work from home, staggered hours).

Some examples of work-related events are as follows:

  • Work meetings (e.g. among colleagues or with external parties)
  • Training
  • Board meetings
  • HR talks (e.g. onboarding, retrenchment exercises)
  • Townhalls
  • Seminars
  • Corporate retreats
  • Conferences on business strategies, workplaces and reviews
  • Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meetings
  • Tender briefings to vendors
  • Award ceremonies
  • Training sessions

The cap includes all persons who will be in the event venue at any one time, including emcees, security officers, public officers overseeing the ceremony, etc.

Persons providing services related to the event venue, and do not stay on for the event can be excluded from the cap. For example:

  • Staff providing decoration, lighting, sound or other equipment for hire.
  • Those who are involved in event setup only.

Are companies required to ensure staggered start times for employees at the workplace?Show

Employers must stagger the start times for all employees who returning to the workplace. This would enable more employees to avoid peak-hour travel, especially if employees require the use of public transport. Timings of lunch and other breaks should also be staggered accordingly.

Are my employees and visitors required to wear a mask at all times at my workplace?Show

For general office workplaces, employers must ensure that employees and visitors wear a mask at all times at the workplace, except during activities that require masks to be removed or when individuals are alone in their own office with the door closed. Supplementary personal protective equipment is encouraged, whenever relevant (more guidelines can be found in sector-specific guidelines). This is in addition to other Safe Management Measures (e.g. safe distancing) that must be in place at the workplace.

Some examples of activities where the requirement for masks to be worn can be waived include mealtimes, or where other equipment must be worn during the course of work (e.g. motorcycle helmets).

In addition, if an individual is alone in his or her own office with the door closed, and no other person enters the room, the individual may remove his or her mask in the room. If the room door is opened or if there is any contact with people, a mask must be used.

Where possible, employers should consider improving the working environment for employees to enable them to wear their masks.

What type of personal protective equipment should my employees use? Can employees wear other types of PPEs (e.g. face shields) instead of surgical masks?Show

A mask that closely and completely covers the nose and mouth (i.e. without leaving a gap between the mask and the face) must be worn at all times when persons go out of their homes, including while at the workplace.

The following specific groups of persons can use a face shield, in place of masks:

  • Children 12 years and below, who may have difficulty wearing and keeping face masks on for a prolonged period of time.
  • Persons who have health conditions that may result in breathing or other medical difficulties when a mask is worn for a prolonged period of time.
  • Persons who are speaking to a group in a classroom or lecture-style setting, where they largely remain at the spot from which they are speaking, and are able to maintain a safe distance away from any other persons.

A face shield must be worn properly so that it covers the entire face, from the forehead to below the chin, wrapping around the sides of the face.

Plastic spit guards predominantly cover the mouth and are not considered as masks. Face coverings such as neck gaiters, bandannas, scarves or handkerchiefs are not considered as masks.

If the risk of encountering an infectious person is high (e.g. personnel has sustained contact with many other individuals throughout the course of their work), then surgical masks and other relevant PPEs should be used instead.

Can my employees use employer-provided recreational facilities which are not located at the workplace?Show

Access to standalone recreational facilities which are located away from employees’ workplaces will depend on the re-opening plans for relevant permitted enterprises.

These facilities will also be subject to stricter Safe Management Measures (e.g. maintaining a distance of at least 2-3 metres from each other when engaging in any sporting activity or physical exercise).

When visiting such facilities, employees will still have to comply with the relevant Safe Management Measures put in place for that setting.

No. The work-related event can proceed with the following safe management measures in place:

  • Attendees must maintain at least 1 metre safe distancing between individual attendees, as per the requirement at the workplace.
  • Meals should not be the main feature of the event, i.e. food or drinks should only be served if incidental to the workplace event (e.g. the meeting or conference extends over lunchtime). In addition, the food must be served individually with the participants seated while consuming. Participants should minimise the time that they are unmasked while eating.
  • Work-related events held at third-party venues will also be subject to any additional premises owners' safe management policies such as Vaccination Differentiated SMMs.
  • High risk activities such as singing and the playing of wind or brass instruments are not allowed to resume at work-related events.

No, the event can proceed with the following safe management measures in place. The notification must be submitted at least 5 days before the event.

  • Attendees must maintain at least 1 metre safe distance between one another. Attendees must be in zones of up to 100 persons per zone, with 2 metres between zones.
  • There must be no mask-off activities during the event, such as the consumption of food and beverage.
  • The event must be static, with participants predominantly seated or standing in a fixed position (e.g. meetings, conferences, award ceremonies).

All attendees must be subject to Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS), i.e. every attendee must be fully vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 within the past 180 days, or medically ineligible for vaccines under the National Vaccination Programme.

The new requirements will take effect for work-related events happening on or after 3 January 2022.

No, all attendees of work-related events involving 51-1000 participants must be fully vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 within the past 180 days, or medically ineligible for vaccines under the National Vaccination Programme.

No. At a work-related event involving 51-1000 participants, there must be no mask-off activities such as the consumption of food and beverage.

The notification must be submitted at least 5 days before the start of the event.

No. Work-related events with more than 1000 attendees are not allowed to proceed.

Yes. You must deliver the speech from a fixed position that is at least 2 metres away from the audience.

Can I organise a team building activity for my employees?Show

Team building activities are not considered work-related events as they are predominantly social in nature. You should not organise team building activities for your employees

Take care of your workplace

Can I use an alternative visitor management system instead of SafeEntry?Show

Businesses must only use TraceTogether-only SafeEntry to collect entry information of all employees and visitors on their premises. Businesses that need to use their current systems to collect additional data, e.g. employees' ID, must ensure TraceTogether-only SafeEntry is implemented on top of their existing systems.

TraceTogether-only SafeEntry is already implemented for my building (e.g. malls), do tenants within the building have to implement it as well?Show

As part of safe workplace measures, all venues and facilities listed on places where SafeEntry must be deployed will have to implement TraceTogether-only SafeEntry to collect entry information of employees and visitors.

This includes office tenants or workplaces where there is a TraceTogether-only SafeEntry checkpoint at the main building entrance.

For more information, visit the SafeEntry website.

Where can I find more information on SafeEntry?Show

You can visit the SafeEntry website for more information on the implementation and usage of SafeEntry.

In an office setting, would leaving an empty desk marked (e.g. with a cross) suffice for safe distancing? For barriers between workstations, are there guidelines for how high they need to be?Show

Employers must ensure clear physical spacing of at least 1 metre between persons at all times and demarcate safe physical distances (at least 1 metre apart) with visual indicators or physical means such as barriers between workstations.

If leaving an empty desk and demarcating clearly with visual indicators allows for at least 1 metre distancing between employees, such an approach can be considered. For barriers between workstations, while there are no specific height guidelines, the barriers should also facilitate the required safe physical distance of 1 metre apart.

How frequently should I clean my workplace, i.e. what is considered regular cleaning?Show

As the recommended frequency and intensity may differ by sector, businesses should refer to the sanitation and hygiene advisories disseminated by NEA.

Take care of workers who become unwell at the workplace

Do my employees who are working from home need to undergo regular temperature screening and declarations?Show

Employees who are working from home do not need to submit their temperatures or declarations.

However, they should continue to monitor their health conditions and see a doctor if needed.

How do I prevent outbreaks from starting at my workplace?Show

You can do your part to guard against outbreaks starting at your workplace through:

  • Adherence to Safe Management Measures at the workplace.
  • Ensuring employees at the workplace who have visited a clinic submit to you records of their Medical Certificates (MCs) and diagnoses provided (only for COVID-19-related symptoms, including acute respiratory infections), and if they were tested for COVID-19 and the results of their tests.
  • Advising employees who are unwell to stay home and consult a doctor rather than going to the workplace.
  • Requiring employees on MCs to closely monitor their health before returning to the workplace.
  • Requiring close contacts of employees on MCs to monitor their health more regularly.

Implement a system of Safe Management Measures

What should be included in my monitoring plan?Show

The monitoring plan should at minimum, include details on the steps taken to ensure the requirements are communicated and adhered to, and how any anomalies or non-compliance will be identified. The plan should also highlight risk mitigation strategies and proposed steps to remedy and document any non-compliance found.

You can refer to Annex B – Checklist of Safe Management Measures at the workplace for resumption of business activities for guidance on what should be included in the monitoring plan.

Who can we appoint as a Safe Management Officer?Show

Companies should appoint someone capable of carrying out the duties stated in MOM’s requirements for workplace Safe Management Measures within the organisation as the designated Safe Management Officers (SMOs). For unionised companies, union leaders or Workplace Safety and Health officers could be appointed as SMOs.

Companies should ensure that SMOs are provided with sufficient resources and guidance to carry out their duties effectively.

SMOs can be part-time appointments.

How do I ensure that my employees adhere to Safe Management Measures?Show

Employers are responsible for ensuring that Safe Management Measures are in place, communicated and explained to employees prior to resuming work. Signs should also be put up to remind employers and visitors to observe all measures in place.

Do I need to implement temperature screening for my employees?Show

No. This requirement has been lifted from 19 August 2021.

What should I take into consideration when engaging employees on returning to the workplace?Show

You are encouraged to have a transparent and open discussion with employees on the work arrangements, taking into consideration factors such as:

  • Business needs and nature of work, i.e. task requires employees to be physically in office.
  • Readiness of workforce, e.g. infrastructure, IT support, onboarding of new hires, etc.
  • Implications on remuneration package, e.g. savings from office space rental, transport allowances, etc.
  • Sensitivity towards certain groups of employees, i.e. older and more vulnerable employees, employees identified by MOH as not suitable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, employees with caregiving needs.

Having a clear set of guidelines or workplace policies on the work arrangements would help prevent misunderstandings or disputes.

You may wish to refer to TAFEP's telecommuting guide for more details on implementing a sustainable telecommuting arrangement or work-life programmes that can be implemented at the workplace.

Upon finding out about a COVID-19 case at my workplace, do I need to conduct a deep cleaning of my workplace premises?Show

No. Common spaces include entrances, lifts lobbies, meeting rooms, pantries as well as shared machinery and equipment should be cleaned in accordance with NEA’s advisory. You are not required to enlist a cleaning contractor.

One of my workers is infected with COVID-19, and I want to conduct ART for employees who might have been in contact. What type of interactions should count?Show

You should make an assessment based on your workplace setting. For instance, those whom the infected worker had meals with, or those who were at a long meeting with them, may be at risk of infection. Even if they did not receive a Health Risk Warning, you may wish to conduct ART to ensure that they are safe and reduce transmission risk.

It is important that employers ensure that the risk of transmission at the workplace is reduced to as low as possible even as we transit to an endemic situation. Otherwise, employers may face severe disruption to their operations if more workers are infected.

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