28 May 2021

On 30 April 2021, the Minister of State for Manpower, Gan Siow Huang, launched the Tripartite Standard on Work-Life Harmony (“WLH”).

The Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) jointly developed the Tripartite Standard for WLH to entrench and enhance good work-life harmony practices in the new normal and beyond. The Tripartite Standard on WLH specifies practices that employers should implement at the workplace to support employees to effectively manage responsibilities and aspirations in the spheres of work and personal life.

Practices to implement

The Tripartite Standard on WLH lists the practices that employers adopting the Tripartite Standard need to have in place:

  • Adoption of the Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements (“FWAs”). The Tripartite Standard on WLH builds upon the 2017 Tripartite Standard on FWAs, in recognition that FWAs are a necessary building block towards achieving WLH. Employers who adopt the Tripartite Standard on WLH are therefore required to first adopt the Tripartite Standard on FWAs. 
  • Employee support schemes: 
    • Providing at least two employee support schemes for all its employees, based on employees’ needs, e.g. family day, subsidised health screening, and staff recreation areas. Other examples of employee support schemes can be found here;
    • Communicate to employees the different forms of employee support schemes and the process to apply for them (e.g. on the employer’s staff website, HR policy, circular or memo); and
    • Adopting technological tools to support work-life strategies, where relevant.
  • Put in place enhanced leave policies for all employees by providing at least two enhanced leave benefits (e.g. compassionate leave, extended childcare leave), and encouraging the utilisation of annual, childcare, maternity and paternity leave, as well as other leave benefits offered by employers when needed. Enhanced leave benefits refer to leave benefits offered above and beyond those which are required by law. Other examples of enhanced leave benefits can be found here
  • Appointing a member of the senior management to champion WLH. 
  • Discuss suitable arrangements for employees with caregiving responsibilities, such as the option to reduce work hours upon request (with a commensurate reduction in pay); or 
  • Establish and communicate (e.g. through employee handbook or company-wide HR communications) its WLH policy to employees. This will support employees’ mental well-being, prevent potential work burnout and improve productivity. 
  • Regular review of the effectiveness of the work-life programmes.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the MOM website www.mom.gov.sg and Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP) website www.tal.sg: