Increased Enforcement of Safe Management Measures at Workplaces during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)
1. From 8 to 21 May 2021, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) inspected over 530 workplaces and issued fines to 11 companies for breaches of Safe Management Measures (SMMs). All 11 fines were issued to companies that failed to ensure work-from-home (WFH) as a default arrangement for employees who are able to do so.
2. Under the latest advisory for SMMs at the workplace issued on 14 May 2021, employers are required to implement work-from-home (WFH) as the default arrangement. All employees whose roles can be performed from home must do so. Employers must provide the necessary facilities and direct their employees to work from home wherever possible. Only employees who are unable to work from home due to the nature of the work (e.g. the role requires access to equipment only accessible at the workplace) can continue to work on-site.
3. To monitor the level of onsite workforce, all employers who carry out operations on-site must declare their on-site manpower details at https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg. Employers are required to declare this information by 28 May 2021, and update the information whenever there are significant changes. Regardless of the declared number of workers, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all employees WFH if they are able to do so. Enforcement actions will still be taken against the employer, if workers who are able to WFH are found to be working onsite, even if the total number of workers onsite are at or below the declared number of workers.
4. Employers must ensure that adequate SMMs are in place at all times if they have employees who have to work onsite. These measures include:
a. Staggering start times and allowing flexible workplace hours;
b. No cross-deployment across workplaces or worksites;
c. No social gatherings at the workplace;
d. Meal breaks must be taken individually and at staggered times;
e. Masks must be worn in the workplace at all times.
5. We urge employers and employees to adhere to the latest guidelines, in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at the workplace. Breaches of workplace SMMs can be reported to MOM, and the identity of whistle-blowers will be kept strictly confidential.
6. We will be also be increasing inspections of workplaces to ensure that the latest guidelines are properly implemented. The full list of workplace SMMs can be found at http://go.gov.sg/smm.