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Additional Safe Distancing Measures for the Workplace

  1. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has issued a guidance document that elaborates on the suspension of activities at workplace premises. The suspension will be in effect from 7 April 2020 until 4 May 2020, but this may be extended if necessary.
  2. Over the past week, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has made it a requirement for companies to implement work-from-home arrangements where possible. While companies have had to make adjustments, many were able to operate with a remote workforce. MOM’s enforcement officers have observed significant reductions in human traffic in business districts across Singapore.
  3. From 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020, additional safe distancing measures to minimise further spread of COVID-19 cases will be implemented. These are intended to further reduce the number of workers who need to travel for work.
    1. Essential Services and their related supply chains are exempted from the suspension. All other business, social, or other activities that cannot be conducted through working from home shall be suspended.
    2. Entities that are able to continue to operate their businesses (in limited or full capacity) with their employees working from home should continue to do so.
    3. The provision of food and essential health items to the public is an essential service. Food suppliers (including food and food ingredient production, food manufacturing, food processing, abattoirs/slaughter houses, food caterers, importers & traders and food logistics-cold stores/warehouses), food retail (including supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery & fruit stores, wholesale markets, wet markets), food & beverages (F&B) outlets (including restaurants, hawker centres, coffeeshops and food courts), and pharmacies will remain open. However, F&B outlets can only offer take-away and deliveries only; no dining in is allowed.     
  4. Please refer to MTI’s guidance document for more information on the above.
  5. MOM officers will begin enforcement operations from 7 April to ensure that only businesses who are exempted from the suspension are operating from their workplace premises.

    GUIDELINES FOR EMPLOYERS WITH AFFECTED WORKERS

  6. Employers should use the next few days to plan and carry out duties or tasks that must be performed at the workplace premises, before the additional safe distancing measures come into effect. 
  7. For employees who cannot work from home or at their workplace premises, employers should work out with them clear salary and leave arrangements, based on the principle of shared responsibility. Such arrangements should take into consideration the government support for wages and any subsidies for training.

    SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYERS

  8. This is a big adjustment for employers. To support businesses through this period, the Government will announce additional support that will include enhanced wage support for businesses, further financing help, and help for households. More details will be made available shortly.