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FAQs on staggered rest days for migrant workers

More info for employers on staggered rest days for workers, updating rest days and your responsibilities for assigned rest days.

What are staggered rest days

What are staggered rest days and why do we need to implement them?Show

Staggered rest days are used to help stagger the rest days of Work Permit and S Pass holders in construction, marine and process sectors across an entire week.

Staggering rest days will spread out the number of workers exiting their dormitories for leisure across the week.

It is an important measure to help your workers enjoy their rest days safely while mitigating the risks of COVID-19 transmissions.

More info:

Do staggered rest days mean that my Work Permit and S Pass holders can only rest 1 day per week?Show

Under the Employment Act, employers must provide at least 1 rest day per week. Employers are to verify or choose 1 designated rest day for your employees in Safe@Work.

This does not necessarily mean that your workers can only rest 1 day a week. It is up to the company’s arrangement with your employees on the number of rest days allowed per week.

For example, if the company’s agreement with workers is a 5-day work week where the employees rest on both Saturday and Sunday, you can designate Saturday as their rest day in Safe@Work.

For dormitory residents, this would be the day when they can apply to leave their dormitories for leisure. They can continue to rest in their dormitories on Sunday (their other rest day as agreed with their employees) but within their dormitories. Workers who are not staying in dormitories are also encouraged to remain in their residences on their other rest day.

Who needs staggered rest days

Which workers must have staggered rest days?Show

Staggered rest days apply to all Work Permit holders and S Pass holders in the construction (hired under construction accounts), marine and process sectors.

This is regardless of where they work (i.e. construction site or non-construction site) and where they stay (i.e. dormitory or non-dormitory).

Are Singapore citizens, PRs, EP holders or Dependant's Pass holders subjected to staggered rest days?Show

No. Staggered rest days don’t apply to Singapore citizens, PRs, EP holders and Dependant’s Pass holders.

However, your work schedules may change as a result of implementing staggered rest days for your Work Permit holders and S Pass holders.

For example, some construction sites may start working on Sundays if their assigned rest day is on another day of the week. This could affect other employees such as supervisory staff.

Employers should communicate the implementation of staggered rest days to all your employees and to explore options to minimise the impact of staggered rest days to other employees.

I have Work Permit and S Pass holders in manufacturing or services sectors. Do they need staggered rest days?Show

No. Staggered rest days only apply to Work Permit holders and S Pass holders hired under construction, marine and process sectors.

Can my Work Permit or S Pass Holders be exempted from staggered rest days if they don't stay in a dormitory or working on site?Show

To minimise the risk of COVID-19 infections and potential work stoppages, all Work Permit and S Pass Holders hired under construction, marine and process sectors must have staggered rest days. This include those who are not deployed to sites or are not residing in dormitories.

For non-site workers (such as those deployed to corporate offices or HQs), they don’t need to follow the same official rest days assigned to their employer’s construction project worksites.

You can choose a rest day for these workers between Monday to Saturday that best meets your working schedule in Safe@Work. The rest days can be different for each worker.

If you request for Sunday as the designated rest day for your non-site and non-dormitory workers, you can submit an appeal at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday. You need to provide proof, such as contractual agreement showing employment terms and details including company name, workers’ names, workers’ FIN, job roles or job titles, their working hours and their work address.

How staggered rest days are assigned

How do I know what are my workers' assigned rest days?Show

You will receive an email from BCA or MOM titled “Staggered rest day for your workers”.

This is a different email from the “Approval for restart” email.

For workers deployed to construction sites, BCA or MOM will assign a rest day to the project, and the rest day for the project will be stated in the email. After you received the email, you can verify or update the rest day for each of your workers in Safe@Work.

For workers deployed for renovation works, you can:

For workers not deployed to construction sites, you can choose a rest day between Monday to Saturday in Safe@Work. If you want to appeal for these workers to rest on Sunday, submit appeal at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday. You need to provide supporting proof to show why these workers can only rest on Sundays.

Will BCA or MOM inform my workers on their assigned rest day?Show

No.

As an employer, you are responsible for informing your workers about their assigned rest days, and if there are any changes.

However, your work pass holders can check their assigned rest day using SGWorkPass.

Can I appeal for my worker to rest on Sunday?Show

Workers deployed to projects and works that can’t take place on Sunday will be assigned Sunday as a rest day. These include projects that are affected by NEA’s No-Work-Rule on Sundays and public holidays, and renovation work.

To cater for these workers who can’t rest on other days, we are unable to accede to requests for other workers to rest on Sundays.

However, if you have legitimate reasons, you can appeal at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday. For example, your worker was re-deployed to a project affected by NEA’s No-Work-Rule on Sundays and public holidays, or other works that can’t take place on Sunday.

I've submitted my worker for approval under a few processes in BCA's “Application for restart” and I've received emails for different rest days. Which email should I follow?Show

If your worker is deployed full-time to a specific construction site, you should follow the rest day for the project while your worker is deployed to the construction site.

If your worker subsequently moves to another construction site, you need to update their rest day based on the assigned project rest day for their new construction worksite in Safe@Work.

If your worker serves multiple projects at the same time, or is only deployed to a site part-time, you can choose a rest day between Monday to Saturday that best meets their working schedule. You can update their rest day in Safe@Work after you have received the email titled “Staggered rest day for your workers”.

We encourage you to spread the rest days of your workers evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible. This is to avoid crowding of workers resting on Saturdays.

For construction sites projects or supply works, my workers are not approved to work, pending approval for restart, or haven't submitted for restart. Do they need staggered rest days?Show

You should not choose a rest day in Safe@Work until your workers are approved to work by BCA.

You will receive a separate email on your workers’ rest day arrangements from BCA or MOM, titled “Staggered rest day for your workers” after they’ve been approved for restart.

What to do after getting MOM or BCA's email

What do I need to do after I received email titled “Staggered rest day for your workers”?Show

If your worker is deployed full time to a single construction project site and the project has been assigned a rest day by BCA or MOM, you should use Safe@Work to verify or update the rest day for each of your workers.

If your worker isn’t deployed to a construction site or is deployed part-time to multiple sites, you can choose a rest day between Monday to Saturday that best meets their working schedule. Part time means work on a project site for less than 6 weeks at the project site within a 3-month window. You can update the rest day in Safe@Work after you received email on your workers’ assigned rest day.

We strongly encourage you to spread your workers’ rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible. This is to avoid crowding of workers resting on Saturday.

If your worker is required to rest on a new day, you need to inform them on their new rest day.

Do I need to implement the new staggered rest days immediately?Show

We understand that you need time to adjust your business practices and manpower deployment to implement your new staggered rest days.

Hence, you are given a 1-month grace period from the date you receive the email titled “Staggered rest day for your workers” to implement your new rest day.

You should communicate the importance of new rest day arrangement and the implementation details to your workers.

I'm unable to implement the new staggered rest days within a month, can I have more time?Show

You should implement your new staggered rest days within a month.

I've appealed to change my worker's rest day but I haven't receive the email yet, and my deadline for implementing staggered rest days is almost due. What should I do? Show

You don’t need to follow up until you received your appeal outcome notification. No enforcement action will be taken while you are awaiting your appeal outcome.

You will be given an additional 3 weeks from the date of appeal outcome notification to implement your rest day arrangement.

For projects assigned to rest on a Sunday, will my workers' rest day be auto-populated in Safe@Work?Show

Workers deployed to projects and works that can’t take place on Sunday will be assigned Sunday as their rest day. These include projects that are affected by NEA’s No-Work-Rule on Sundays and public holidays, and renovation work.

For these workers, Sunday will be used as their official rest day in Safe@Work. You don’t need to manually set their rest day as Sunday.

You should use Safe@Work to verify that your workers’ rest day is correct. If the rest day is not correctly shown as Sunday for some workers, you need to submit an appeal at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday to change their rest days to Sunday.

What should I do if I didn't receive an email titled “Staggered rest day for your workers” from BCA or MOM?Show

If you didn’t receive the email “Staggered rest day for your workers”, you need to:

  1. Contact MOM to check your rest day assignment if you have received “Approval for restart” from BCA but haven’t receive email on your assigned rest day.
  2. If you can resume work without applying to BCA for approval, use Safe@Work to choose a rest day for your workers between Monday to Saturday.
    Note: From 10 August 2020, all companies with foreign workers under construction sector are allowed to resume work without applying to BCA for approval, unless workers are deployed to perform work at construction sites or supply work premises.

We strongly encourage you to spread your workers’ rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible. This is to avoid crowding of workers resting on Saturday.

For renovation companies who can’t work on Sundays, you can appeal at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday for your workers to have their rest day on Sunday. You need to provide proof that your workers are deployed for renovation works that are not allowed on Sundays.

What can workers do on assigned rest days

Can my workers work on their assigned rest days?Show

Yes, workers can work on their assigned rest days if they are willing to do so, so long as the overtime pay and limits under Part IV of the Employment Act are met.

If my worker's rest day is not Sunday, will they be allowed to exit their dormitory on Sunday for work?Show

Yes. If your worker has approval to start work and their AccessCode is green, they can leave their dormitory for work purposes on any day of the week.

My worker's rest day falls on Sunday and they are paid overtime when I need them to work on Sunday. If their rest day changes to another day, do I still need to pay them overtime pay on Sunday?Show

No. Under the Employment Act, you have to provide at least 1 rest day per week. If their rest day is not on Sunday, you don’t need to pay them overtime for working on Sunday.

However, if you deploy them to work on their new rest day, the same overtime rules would apply.

Can my worker exit their dormitory on their assigned rest day?Show

Currently, MOM is carrying out exit trials for cleared dormitories where workers can leave their dormitories to visit specified Recreation Centres on their assigned rest day after successfully applying for an Exit Pass.

For workers in dormitories that are currently not in the exit trials, they are allowed to exit their dormitories for work purposes only.

They can also apply to leave their dormitories for essential errands. Read the advisory on essential errands for more info.

Why must I implement staggered rest days if my workers are not allowed to leave their dormitories for non-work purposes now?Show

The first phase of dorm exits for non-work purposes began in mid-August.

In anticipation of the upcoming situation when workers staying in all cleared dormitories are allowed to leave their dormitories for non-work purposes, staggering rest days will spread out the number of workers exiting their dormitories for non-work purposes evenly across the week.

It is an important measure to help workers enjoy their rest days safely while mitigating the risks of COVID-19 transmissions.

What should my workers do if they want to exit their dormitories for non-work purposes?Show

Workers staying in dormitories that are currently onboard exit trials can apply for Exit Pass using SGWorkPass to leave their dormitories on their assigned rest day to visit a specified Recreation Centre.

In addition, workers whose dormitory is declared COVID-cleared and are not serving a Quarantine Order or Stay-Home Notice can leave their dormitory to run essential errands. You or dormitory operator need to notify MOM, and they can then leave for their specified errand. The list of essential errands include medical appointments, court appointments and work pass related errands. This is regardless of AccessCode status. They don’t need Exit Pass.

My Work Permit or S Pass holders are not deployed to construction sites (i.e. stationed in office or HQ) and are not staying in dormitories (e.g. HDB or PRP). Can they go out for non-work purposes on other days?Show

To minimise the risk of COVID-19 infections and potential work stoppages, all Work Permit and S Pass holders hired under construction, marine and process sectors must have staggered rest days. This includes workers who are not deployed to sites or those not staying in dormitories.

Workers who are not deployed to construction sites and are not staying in dormitories are should only leave their residences for non-work purposes on their assigned rest days.

Changing rest days

Can I change my worker's rest days?Show

For workers deployed to single construction sites, you should adhere to the assigned rest days of the construction sites. If you have legitimate reasons to change their rest day (e.g. your worker is no longer deployed to a project), you can change their rest day between Monday to Saturday using Safe@Work.

If your workers are not deployed to construction sites or deployed part-time to multiple sites, and you have chosen a rest day for them earlier, you can change their rest day between Monday to Saturday with Safe@Work if their work schedules have changed. Part-time means working on a project site for less than 6 weeks at the project site within a 3-month window.

We strongly encourage you to spread your workers’ rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible. This is to avoid crowding of workers resting on Saturday.

If your worker is required to rest on a new day, you should inform them of their new rest day.

Can I swap my worker's assigned rest day with another project or change a project rest day?Show

You should abide by your assigned rest day as far as possible.

If there are legitimate reasons to change your workers’ rest days, you can appeal at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday. You must provide supporting proof in your appeal.

How many times I can change the assigned rest day in Safe@Work?Show

Safe@Work doesn’t restrict the number of changes you can make.

However, you should only make changes for legitimate reasons.

When can I update rest days in Safe@Work?Show

If you have legitimate reasons, you can update rest days in Safe@Work once you received the email titled “Staggered rest day for your workers”.

My worker was working on a previous project and has an assigned rest day. They have moved to a new project. Do I need to update in Safe@Work or will it be automatically updated?Show

It is not automatically updated. Once there is a rest day recorded in Safe@Work, you need to update any subsequent changes.

For sub-contractors, specialist sub-contractors, facility management companies, lift & escalator companies, renovation companies

I'm a sub-contractor or specialist sub-contractor. My workers were submitted under the main contractor's restart application. How do I find out my workers' rest days?Show

Check with the main contractor on the assigned rest day if you didn’t receive any email on your workers’ rest day.

I'm a sub-contractor. My worker has a different rest day assignment from the main contractor's project rest day. Can I change my worker's rest day to match with the main contractor's?Show

You can update your workers’ rest day according to your main contractor’s rest days using Safe@Work.

However, if your main contractor’s rest day is on Sunday, you need to submit an appeal at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday with necessary documents to show that your workers are deployed to the project. If approved, you will receive a notification, and your workers’ rest days will be automatically updated in Safe@Work.

If your main contractor’s rest day is between Monday to Saturday, you don’t need to change the rest days for your workers.

I'm a specialist contractor. My workers work on multiple project sites with different rest days. Which rest day should I choose?Show

If your workers work at multiple project sites or are deployed part-time to multiple sites, you should use Safe@Work to choose a rest day between Monday to Saturday that best fits their work schedule. Part time means working on a project site for less than 6 weeks at the project site within a 3-month window.

You don’t need to choose the same day for all your workers. You can also change the rest days subsequently on Safe@Work for legitimate reasons, e.g. you are rostering your workers differently.

We strongly encourage you to spread your workers’ rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible. This is to avoid crowding of workers resting on Saturday. This is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of possible disruptions.

If your worker is required to rest on a new day, please inform them of their new rest day.

I have workers resting on both Saturday and Sunday with staggered rest days, can they work on Sunday?Show

No.

If your workers currently rest on both Saturdays and Sundays, they should continue to do so.

However, they can leave their dorm for leisure on Saturday.

Hence, in Safe@Work, you should choose Saturday as their rest day. They can continue to rest on Sunday without leaving their dormitory.

I'm a renovation contractor. Can I choose another rest day for my worker instead of Sunday?Show

Yes. You can choose another rest day between Monday to Saturday for your worker at Safe@Work.

However, after you chose a new rest day, you won’t be able to change back to Sunday. If you’re only temporarily deploying your worker on Sundays, you should get your worker’s consent for overtime work instead.

We strongly encourage you to spread your workers’ rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible. This is to avoid crowding of workers resting on Saturday.

You must also comply strictly with the permitted time stipulated by HDB or MCST.

My customers don't allow works on Sunday, and my workers are required to work on Saturdays. How do I request for my workers' rest day to be on Sunday?Show

To ensure all workers’ rest day are spread out evenly across the week and reduce the potential of COVID-19 virus transmission, we encourage you to avoid choosing weekends.

However, if you have legitimate reasons, you can submit an appeal for your workers’ to rest on Sunday at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday. You must provide supporting proof.

I can resume work without applying for BCA's approval. Do I still need to provide rest days for my workers?Show

Yes, if you employ workers that need to have staggered rest days, you must choose a rest day in Safe@Work for your workers.

We strongly encourage you to spread your workers’ rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible. This is to avoid crowding of workers resting on Saturday.

If you’re a renovation company, you can request for Sunday as the rest day for your workers at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday.

How do I update my workers' rest days if they are on rotating shift and their rest days are different each week?Show

If you have workers on rotating shift, you can submit an appeal at www.mom.gov.sg/appeal-restday for your workers to be on rotated rest days. This allows your workers to rest between Monday to Saturday, including different days each week.

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