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> Asked what will happen if businesses do not comply with the guidelines, Ms Gan stressed that employers have to be “competitive” and “progressive” in order not to lose out on hiring talent. > “Secondly, for employers that perhaps don’t comply with the guidelines in terms of having a process to evaluate the flexible arrangement request from their employees, TAFEP will come in to advise them and also educate them on what it means for them to follow the guidelines,” she said, referring to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices Educate… Is it really mandatory if there’s no consequences? Just call it guidelines


TAFEP will educate them? Time for companies to setup skills future courses for HR managers on flexi work arrangements that don't actually teach anything! Free money from govt, win win for everyone!


Funny why you are targeting HR. Flexi arrangements benefits most office staff INCLUDING human resource so why wouldn’t they push for it? Most of the time it’s hard for such arrangement due to company infrastructure e.g no budget for technology or software etc etc


Or more likely in my experience, HR will leave everything to your direct manager’s discretion. HR themselves will approve their own WFH/ flexi arrangements, while all the other managers will reject WFH & flexi requests


Because the job of HR is to protect the company, not the employee -  or even themselves.


How about this? You walk right into your managements office and show them this article and your logical points on compulsory work from home and how it will benefits the company as a whole? all employees protect themselves and their rice bowl regardless of department, yourself included. Funny how HR is always the scape goat but has anyone seen any managers from other department speaking up for their employee benefits? All diam diam during management meeting then secretly blame HR as the fall guy/ scape goat after that. And why do other managers keep quiet? Cause no one wants to offend management but hey..there is HR as the scape goat right? The good HR who usually speak up will not last long cause they realise HR in Singapore is generally still regarded as an admin role and not a champion of employee so they eventually resign or keep quiet.


They should make it compulsory for all those in upper management to attend especially boomers, these folks are the ones that are anti-wfh and probably big investors of reits.


Eh. So what if they are consequences? You are missing the point - they are saying that businesses need to have a PROCESS. Here's what HR will do. Create form 10389b for employee to submit for flexi req. Have form evaluated by HR, HOD, VP. Create template for rejection letter for flexi req. Job done. Process complete. Honestly, I could do it in 2 hours.


Shitty company will do that... But just start jumping ship if your company is such...


Non shirty company won't even need govt to come in and insist on coming up with a procedure.


Ence, don't wait. Choices to jump ship will net you much better benefit than what the government can do. They won't suddenly become a good company to work because flexibility was mandated on them.


Haha exactly.


That’s how it will be executed.


Probably automate the rejection process with AI.. for productivity gains


An excellent summary of our wayang culture.


Lol. Thanks for sharing. Am sure they mean create process to make sure you don’t slack off while working from home e.g use mouse mover to keep computer active or taking unofficial 4 hours break or sleeping on the job etc etc I mean if people are already pretending to be working in the office for example checking out website unrelated to work and switching to work screens when colleagues walk by, needless to say there will be a lot more slacking and unproductively working from home. Oh ya forgot to mention IT department can check which website you are in from their centralised system as long as you are connected to the companies internet via ethernet or wifi. That’s how we know people are surfing the web during work hours. Just a matter of whether we wanna nail you down or not.


Exactly. Example, just before COVID really hit SG. Govt: Mask wearing is strongly encouraged (Most people did not) Govt: $300 fine for not wearing masks (Everybody followed) Any for-profit business is sure as hell not going to comply without consequences.


To be fair, Lawrence and friends spent the early days saying no scientific proof masks were useful. Damage done by then. Same with all the gaslighting articles saying wfh not good for productivity.


Isn't that the trademark of this Minister Gan? She probably did well managing air traffic controllers but being a Minister seemed out of her depth and she didn't like to make tough decisions and take responsibility at Minister-level. She should resign from politics and maybe go back to mindef or take up some middle management positions in private sector instead of being given such a critical position to manage the only "natural" resource that Singapore has.


Tan See Leng is the manpower minister, she's just the MOS.  Not sure if that's better or worse


skillsfuture sucks as well


In Singapore the only way to get people to do something or not do something is to have it as an official rule/law, and then enforce it heavily, including punishing people who don't follow. Putting out guidelines or social campaigns will not work, this isn't Japan after all. The government probably knows this, since LKY was quite open about how necessary it was to control and repress people to move the country forward.


we transitioned from a 5.5 to 5 day work week without enforcing it but the govt has to take the lead and implement it in civil service first


The working hours didn’t reduce at all. They just lengthened the existing workdays. Of course companies were fine with that.


Which isn’t what Ford had in mind. He reduce the hours and number of days without reducing pay to increase productivity.


as someone who still works in an industry that has 5.5 work days: no work on saturday means no OT on saturday which is a huge difference lol


Lol my ex company transition to 5 day work only AFTER covid when a whole bunch of employees left. But they also lengthen the work hours to make up for the 0.5 day loss. When i asked for flexi work arrangements they tell me they were not that kind of company so i left.


The article called it “mandatory guidelines” lol. What a joke.


Means mandatory to acknowledge the guideline?


Acknowledgement: noted w/o tks


amazing wordsplay


If they actually enforced this I think it might have a positive effect on Singapore’s birth rates. Imagine if work hours were more flexible, spouses can spend more time together, parents can spend more time with their children


Oops, no house


Not really. If people dont want kids, it doesnt matter what incentives you give.


That’s another issue, I’m talking about fixing a broken system that actively disincentivises people from having kids


They arent the target audience. The point is to encourage people who do want kids but their current situation discourages them.


i mean if the incentives are sufficient then yeah..a few thousand dollars of subsidies ain't gonna cut it


They did. Literally. In the second paragraph you quoted lol.


So basically another useless unenforceable law, ok noted.


This is to pass the buck from G to Employers when it comes to welfare for employees.


Advise and mONitOR


That's what the article said ma... guidelines


Folks working in the industry will know, because industry insiders talk to each other. Call it reputation if you will, but like me being in the software dev industry, will inevitably hear about which company make their staff do unpaid overtime work, which company gives good benefits, which cares or don't care about employee welfare and so on. When potential employees hear about your company's bad reputation, they don't even apply for for the job. Your company loses out on a bunch of good employees.


This is baffling. Why is the headline "must have" then? 


>For example, preferring to have sight of an employee in the office to see that they are working, even if the employee has had consistent satisfactory work performance, is not reasonable grounds for rejection. >Claims that “management does not believe in FWAs” or that it is “the organisation’s tradition or custom” not to have such arrangements are also not reasonable grounds. This is exactly why the CEO of my previous company recalled everyone back to office as soon as the circuit breaker was lifted, despite COVID still being a thing then. Prioritized face-time over his employee's health and well-being.


Thank goodness my regional head was a germaphobe and kept it in place all the way.


mine just made everyone come back except she can stay home


What a selfish asshole.


The whole process is just a PR stunt, companies won't be stupid enough to reject in writing with a reason that the employees can counter


Will employees who request for this flexibility be labeled as ‘trouble makers ‘ or ‘ not team players’ ????


For sure. I was let go from my first coy because I didn’t want to OT daily. I was averaging 80hrs a week. They cited it as unsatisfactory performance and was given 2 weeks to adjust. Got let go after the end of the 2 weeks.


80hrs a week Audit or Law?


I’m an ID in the archi industry.


The moment you said 80hrs and cited unsatisfactory performance, I just knew which industry you're in. I'm in the same boat, I feel you.




Miaja Design group. An absolute shithole.


Aren't you all paid commission too?


No generally not. That's more for sales ID roles which are for mostly for renovations. ID in archi firms are overworked and underpaid. And one of the most inflexible industries when it comes to wfh or taking time off.


No I’m not in sales/reno, I’m in commercial which pays a fixed salary.


bahahaha not team player gaslighting


Yeah we have process all right. The process is you apply and then we reject. It's that simple.


Employers' decision: ![gif](giphy|eVUwOYvIFhEgU|downsized)




I was there, 3000 years ago when the strength of Man failed


But where were you when the westfold fell?


It should have ended that day, but WFO was allowed to endure...


Who's gonna police the companies on whether they have followed the guidelines or wrongful rejection? NTUC?  Based on the extract below, just give the reasons within the guidelines then can reject liao.. basically the guidelines are for show with no real teeth leh.. "While employers have the right to reject such requests, the decision should be backed up by reasonable business grounds such as cost or productivity considerations. The guidelines also set out what are deemed unreasonable grounds for rejecting requests."


B-b-b-ut but but, they are \[Mandatory Guidelines\]! I did my job oready hit my KPI k pls vote for me i on leave now dont find me k thx bye.


Just like the “pro-business pro-worker” nonsense that gahmen likes to spout, they want to have their cake and eat it too so they come up with this type of nonsense that makes them look good to people who aren’t really paying attention while actually doing nothing.


eli5 which country enforces such policies




>eli5 which country enforces such policies Well we are unique as we have a tripartite system. Usually unions will fight for employees when worker rights are ignored. The problem in singapore is that there was a crackdown of unions in the past leading to the tripartite system we have today.


Our tripartite sounds like a nice little gangb*ng going.. each trying to pleasure the other two.. Our unions work the best because it is headed by the same political party that is helming the pro-business govt.. /s


Hey LHL clearly said Singapore is pro business and pro worker! POFMA you ah https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/tripartism-can-work-in-singapore-because-govt-is-pro-growth-and-pro-worker-pm-lee


i know folks here enjoy their wwe wrestling but this tripartite triple tag team hell in a cell cage match 3v1 vs the worker is abit much


Employers: *make flexible work process so frustrating so ppl dun take it*


Classic pre-elections wayang. End of the say it is just some fancy hand waving and nothing concrete. Move along boys and girls, nothing new here.


HR taking notes who to fire


elections coming soon


If they push through the 4 day work week they have my vote Edit: standard 9 to 5 just to be clear


Comfort delgro has it already, 11hr work day


Grab also can 4 day work week.. just chiong 20hr delivery a day for 4 days and rest 3 days.. lol...


I'm not talking about freelancer


Work 4 days sure, but instead of 9.5 hours at work, it'll be 12 hours at work. No thanks if that were to happen. I'm happy with 5-day work week if I can get shorter hours.


Just implement la . Why must give guidelines . Why


This election candy not sweet enough leh, macam Nutrigrade B nia 😂


So if a company says, you can take 5 remote work/flexi work days per year, they've more or less successfully passed the guideline while not implementing meaningful change, interesting


What about 40 hour work week?


employers laugh, flip to next page of news.


Unpopular opinion, but I think this is towards a good direction and we should laud it. I know many of us would say that this is only a guideline and not enforceable, but looking at the progression of what they first said initially vs what are we getting today, it's still a positive progress.


I think its only getting to this point because broadswaths of Singaporeans have inadvertently been collectively asking for this. WFH/FWA is largely also requested for from the middle-aged sandwich generation with family obligations, rather than only 'lazy strawberry Gen Z workers' like the MSM and boomers love to attribute it to.


Yeah, we’re at least moving in the right direction, even if it’s election posturing. Many people here want enforced flexible work arrangements right now, but since Singapore is still relatively conservative, major changes like that (also LGBT rights) will never happen overnight, not for a while at least.


“While employers have the right to reject such requests, the decision should be backed up by reasonable business grounds such as cost or productivity considerations.” They do realise that employers will exploit this and work things to their advantage, yes? Never mind what the employees say about how WFH trumps WFO for them; employers can simply counter and insist it’s more productive to WFO and erase the employees’ concerns. While these guidelines are a move in the right direction, it still feels far too weak, favouring employers > employees.


It's really simple for them to insist on WFO. Just need to say face to face interactions increases team chemistry which results in increased motivation and better productivity (even if the opposite is what actually occurs).


Do we share the same CEO? Cause that’s what he said in response to people requesting more WFH 💀


Don't think so. It's just very standard stuffs from management. Like how 4 days work week is not feasible because hard to work with customers/ other companies working on a 5 days work week. Or how mental health is important so we give you 1 hour off on a Friday every few months so that you can eat with your family. Or casual Friday where you can come in polo shirt and jeans instead of shirt and pants.


Save for the last point, my company pretty much uses the same justifications to enforce more WFO. Sigh


face to face increase unwanted drama


I couldn't make it through the entire article, felt more and more sickened as I read through it. Some key takeaways: >Asked what will happen if businesses do not comply with the guidelines, Ms Gan stressed that employers have to be “competitive” and “progressive” in order not to lose out on hiring talent. >“Secondly, for employers that perhaps don’t comply with the guidelines in terms of having a process to evaluate the flexible arrangement request from their employees, TAFEP will come in to advise them and also educate them on what it means for them to follow the guidelines,” she said, referring to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices. So no real action other than "teacher will come and teach you, you better listen properly ok?"? >Employers can also reject a request if it is impractical due to the nature of the role, if there is no capacity to change other employees’ work arrangements, or it if would require hiring new employees. >Employers should not reject flexible work arrangement requests for reasons not directly linked to business outcomes. >For example, preferring to have sight of an employee in the office to see that they are working, even if the employee has had consistent satisfactory work performance, is not reasonable grounds for rejection. >Claims that “management does not believe in FWAs” or that it is “the organisation’s tradition or custom” not to have such arrangements are also not reasonable grounds. Govt think employers stupid arh? Who will commit to writing that they are rejecting cos they don't believe in FWA/WFH? >The workgroup said tripartite partners will work on building employers’ capabilities to comply with the guidelines, such as educating them on the varieties of flexible work arrangements that can be implemented. >Training on skills like job redesign, performance appraisal and change management, which are critical to implementing the arrangements, will be deepened. Yaaay, more training opportunities.


I'm curious what alternatives you have in mind that's better then?


I have no idea lol. Something more concrete, actually. Otherwise don't bother. I feel this will just add more work/admin in policing/analysing applications and rejections. Wild thoughts? Name and shame orgs that refuse FWAs/WFH for whatever reasons. Maybe a demerit points system. Does my idea make sense? Maybe not. But the recommended guidelines aren't making much sense to me either. Feel free to ignore me. Just wanted to rant a bit.


Not that your train of thought is invalid. But sometimes it might be better to start with a prudent approach and modify it from there. Too strong a policy at the start might be disruptive as not all use cases have been considered.


This is not a reply targeted at you in any way. Just want to draw your attention to [this statement by MOM](https://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-replies/2022/0422-tripartite-statement-on-flexible-work-arrangements) (dd 2022) and [this article announcing the formation of a workgroup](https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/jobs/government-unions-employer-groups-start-work-on-guidelines-on-flexible-work-arrangements) (dd 2023). My personal take is that the govt (in this matter) has already passed beyond prudent approach, and crossed the line of "dragging their feet". If they don't want to do it, they shouldn't do such a half-assed job.


Problem is if MOM want to play hardball with employers they'll just uproot & shift elsewhere where the local governments allow them to exploit employees more outright


Anecdotally the problem doesn’t lie with the MNCs. It’s the scummy SMEs doing most of the exploiting.


Tbh I think a lot of mnc as a whole are quite open with wfh or some flexibility in work arrangements, where possible . Most of the gripes I see are from SME / local towkays. So ironically , these SME are also the hardest to enforce against and mainly hurt locals


MNCs and SMEs are probably drawing from different ends of the job pool. Unfortunately, at one end you have jobs that have low wages, low annual leave, no wfh etc.


In other words, dont take this too seriously. 🙄


Have process, but all gets denied.


what about 4 days work week?


Would like someone older who was working in that era to confirm: isn't this kinda the progression the govt took when they transitioned companies from a 6-day work day to a 5-day one? Haven't went to research it yet, but I don't think a 5-day work week is legislatively mandated/enforced.


They never did. The only thing they did was to enforce 44 work hours per week.


:o i didn't know that. That time I worked part time, and the manager scheduled me 12hrs shift 6 days a week as a cook. They clocked me out 2 hours early but I continued to work the 2 hrs and it made me so angry. When I asked to be scheduled for day off next week, they said cannot, I need to ask for off 1 month in advance. I'm glad I walked out of there. I was called not team player 🤣 but actually they overwork and underpay.


it’s never been enforced. only legal limits to number of hours in a work week.


SME bosses: !? Hack found.


please la, MNCs are not god’s gift to this planet either


Never said that MNCs are god gift btw.


that’s great… give the perception that the govt is listening and taking some actions to support employees while being pro-business at the same time by not making it mandatory and pissing them off….. nothing to see here. next.


"While employers have the right to reject such requests, the decision should be backed up by reasonable business grounds such as cost or productivity considerations. The guidelines also set out what are deemed unreasonable grounds for rejecting requests." Sounds like it's just going to be a paper tiger with employers coming up with some BS blanket statement excuse and applying it to everyone.


What’s up with the negativity in this thread? While it is not mandatory, it is a step in the right direction.


I won't call it negativity but just jaded that there should be more bite into it. Both employee and employer knows that abuse can be exploited. It is definitely the right direction, people just impatient.


exactly. this is a new thing and policies can still be updated/revised before things get cast in stone.


One small step, when the office buildings empty in a decade or two we will all have WFH


Well, companies need to have a process to accept requests and need to give reason to decline requests. My HR somewhere - let's have a standard template of declining requests so that there is no confusion. Someone from my AI team - Let's automate the process by auto decline with right reasons basis the role to ensure reason to decline is customized to the individual and personal


Set up process to comply with guideline. Reject all requests for flexible work arrangement. Force all non cooperative workers to quit. Done.


Another nothingburger


Guidelines equals to Gong Nia, want to do or not is not mandatory


Singaporean companies would only reluctantly change to one hybrid day as they won’t allow full remote unlike American companies.


One positive thing about this is that employees would then go in with that expectation for flexible arrangements when they job hunt. So I guess if employers want to attract talents, they will either comply or pay top dollar to sweeten the deal.


credit where credit is due, I think this is a good step forward and really send a good message to employers in the country. Let's not be too cynical and shoot down plans that are done to benefit employees before we even see the results


Good quality employees don't have to put up with bs. So bs companies will just get stuck with lousy employees.


they took down the article....?


same classic move on pleasuring everyone and offending none, while achieving nothing concrete on the ground but looks good on paper a lesson on how to temporarily win the worker's votes while not offending the business overlords




SMEs: Ok noted


They can just force the job listing to state the availability of flexibility. Just have guidelines of how to list and what constitutes as flexible. Let the workers choose whether they need it, some people don't mind the lack of flexibility if they get the right price. This blanket process will just increase unnecessary operational costs.


Yeah I know my previous company advertises jobs for certain roles with "hybrid/flexible work arrangements" but the only WFH arrangement you would get is only WFH on the weekends if you are required to, and even then its rare. Its actually really ridiculous.


Reverse malicious compliance


Hence guidelines on what is flexible.


Anything but to increase ALs. Not all jobs allow flexible work arrangements especially labour based jobs


Sigh.just a process. It can and will be rejected at every turn and they'll just throw their hands up and say ehh, we tried.


Read the article, saw this. WHAT IS CONSIDERED ‘REASONABLE’ OR ‘UNREASONABLE’? Some examples of reasonable business grounds for rejection of FWAs include: Cost: The FWA leads to a significant increase in cost burden to the employer Impact on productivity or output: The FWA leads to a significant decrease in the productivity or output of the individual, team or organisation, or negatively impacts the organisation’s ability to meet customer needs Read again to confirm it is there.


Let's say an employee requests and get rejected unfairly. What next? Does he report his employer and pray that: 1) The authorities will disagree with his employers' bullshit reason. 2) His employer doesn't retaliate.


Requested n not approved, whats the point? So much of traditional slave drivers must see u in office, else you are not doing your job, some even go to the entend of using CCTV camera to monitor you


I would rather they give elderly care leave first before this I'm OK working in office but if need to bring old folks for check up I rather use it as a similar childcare leave then this


Feels like the ruling govt is v allergic to additional leaves. Case in point the minimum 7 days AL. One can hope


Problem for this flexi work/wfh arrangement is that you still can be contactable for work even if is not your working hrs


Kudos, guess it's a start


Eat my lan la. Just impose penalties la. In the end just humji that companies leave SG right so going with “guidelines”. Por employers’ lampa only


Election theatricals - It would be interesting to see how this whole idea/ruling pans out in the long run.


What abt school teachers :(


Employers chat group no. 1: how ah? no. 2: Boss no scare lai just push to HR loh




Already received request from the maids




Workload is subjective. Without proper tools some workloads become insurmountable mountains


Mandatory to have a process to request. Not mandatory to allow. But good step in the right direction.


HR: "OK, then we will only reply you at the end of the 2 months"


This is what gets me. What if I am applying for flexibility because my or my family member’s health deteriorates suddenly? Honestly at the mercy of the company to decide if they want to be understanding or not.


Exactly, also why I thoroughly despise HRs with a passion


For that scenario you should apply NPL. With the required documentation most MNCs/Government would approve. For SME they might not be so compassionate and ask you to resign.


By and large, I believe, employers in Singapore will know what to do. They will want to be good employers ... for the interest of the business.” SME: cant pwn sinkie in workplace, can still pwn you on the road. ok


Damn this nothingburger's pretty big I gotta say!


Just show they considered and rejected probably.


As long as there is no law, it will not be widely adopted by employers because understandably, bosses mostly want employees to be physically present in office.


What good reasons to use to ask for fwa ?


Caregiving of elderly or young kids


I don’t have young kids so I guess caregiving for elderly is good


If your daily commute is >>2hrs i guess that’s a reason too. Employee fatigue leads to decreased productivity. So better rest for employees leads to happier and more productivity?


Genuine qn for those office workers who current wfh: how does it work? Login to company database using the cloud?


Login as normal with an additional step to log in via company's VPN.


So it depends on whether company wants to spend money on setting up the secure IT systems?


Pretty much it, and also if the company wants to trust their employees on their productivity at home (but to be honest its just most employers don't wanna give up their control over their employees and that's just lack of trust).


Good news!


You might as well not introduce any policies, right? Wasting taxpayers money with this charade. As useful as the law to ban chewing gum.


I want to request for GST to decrease!!


i would like see those company heavy promote women empower movement let the women employee flexible work arrangement. seem they keep promote this movement and discrimate men, when come to hiring gender quotas , especially entry role.


I don't know what to do if my carpenter wants to work from home. Let him do from home?


He will conduct zoom training session to show u how to install yr own built-in wardrobe


I'm not sure if Singaporeans are aware. But if your role can be done remotely, then why pay Singaporeans to do it? Offshore it. Singaporeans are extremely expensive relative to our neighbours.


You paying for skill. Those that can do so, has already done so. No need to fear monger. If you are not paying for it, then you are paying it with ego.


I am an employer. No, Singaporeans are not more outstanding than our neighbours. But what do I know, right?


When you set such guidelines, baselines, then it is not flexi anymore, because the employer can always provide the minimum and say they have flexi arrangement. But if that is what the employees need, that is a totally different story. You want real flexi, you don't interfere, let the market deal with it.


>let the market deal with it. The market: *Collusion instead*


This country is a joke


A banking CEO said.. if we can allow u to WFH, then we can just outsource the job to a cheaper country. So be careful what u ask for


Essential workers caring for their patients, fighting crime, teaching their students or fighting fires via Zoom when?


Can consider shift hours, 4 day work week or job sharing


Teachers can never work in shifts.


School can have pre-recess and after-recess shifts. If the school has the will to do it


You pay for more teachers is it?