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29 July 2021

On 16 July 2021 and 20 July 2021, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) updated its “Advisory on requirements for safe management measures at the workplace” (“Advisory”). The Advisory and its Annex B setting out a checklist of safe management measures at the workplace were updated as follows:

  • Employers should avoid organising work-related events unless critical (e.g. training sessions). Food and drinks are not allowed at work-related events. 
  • As work from home remains the default, employers should explain to employees the reasons for requiring them to work at the workplace (e.g. due to the nature of their work that can only be done with equipment that is confined to the workplace). Affected employees can seek clarification from the employer if in doubt as to such reason(s). 
  • Social gatherings at the workplace are disallowed and employees should have breaks at the workplace individually. 

Background 

The Ministry of Health (“MOH”) previously announced tightening of community measures under Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) from 19 July 2021 through to 8 August 2021. Due to the reversion to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), MOH announced further tightening of measures from 22 July 2021 through to 18 August 2021. 

The requirements set out in the Advisory are meant for general workplace settings. Specific workplaces like construction worksites and shipyards may have to fulfil additional requirements and should refer to sector-specific requirements.

Agencies including MOM, Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) will continue to enforce safe management measures and take action against errant employers. This may include issuing stop-work orders and financial penalties.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the MOM website www.mom.gov.sg:

The MOH press release titled “Going Back to Phase 2 Heightened Alert” is available on the MOH website www.moh.gov.sg.