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Oral Answer by Ms Gan Siow Huang Minister of State for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on Normalising Work-from-Home Arrangements in the Aftermath of the Covid-19 Pandemic

NOTICE PAPER NO. 97 OF 2020 FOR THE SITTING ON 15 OCTOBER 2020 QUESTION NO. 255 FOR ORAL ANSWER

MP: Dr Wan Rizal 

To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry will consider normalising work-from-home arrangements in the post-pandemic period and advocate among companies for more flexibility in work arrangements beyond the current crisis. 

Answer:

  1. Work-from-home (WFH) has become the norm during the COVID-19 period, with many employers implementing WFH arrangements, for the safety of their employees.
  2. We are heartened by the speed at which companies and employees have adapted to the WFH arrangements during this period. Even as more are allowed to return to the workplace, some employers continue to allow their employees to WFH and return to the office only when needed. It is an encouraging sign that more people recognise the benefits of working from home, and that it is becoming part of the “new normal”. 
  3. At the same time, we recognise that WFH may not be feasible under certain conditions. These include situations where workers have to be physically present at the workplace to operate machinery, or where there are challenges in working from home due to unconducive home environments.
  4. MOM will continue to advocate for the implementation of flexible work arrangements (FWAs). In 2019, about 85% of employers offered some form of formal or ad-hoc FWAs in the workplace. More than 7,000 companies have also adopted the Tripartite Standard on FWAs. MOM welcomes suggestions to implement FWAs in more workplaces and will continue to share good practices with employers.