Workers should support employers amid COVID-19 situation to ensure business continuity: MOM
SINGAPORE: Workers should support their employers amid the COVID-19 situation to ensure businesses continuity, read a tripartite advisory published by the Ministry of Manpower on Friday (Feb 4).
The advisory added that employers should likewise show care and concern for the health and safety of their employees through these “difficult times” – recognising their sacrifices and contributions as well as rewarding them accordingly.
Singapore should be prepared for “surges in infections” due to the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant, noted the advisory, adding that staff absences due to COVID-19 infections can “significantly disrupt business operations”.
“The multi-ministry task force has thus called on employers, in particular those providing essential services, to prepare and be ready to implement their business continuity plans, adhere strictly to safe management measures and encourage employees to test themselves regularly, so as to dampen transmission and minimise business disruptions.”
The advisory laid out measures that employers may wish to consider when reviewing their business continuity plans.
SPLIT TEAMS, ADDITIONAL PAID LEAVE
Employers were encouraged to adopt split teams for employees that fulfil critical functions to reduce the risk of disruption to operations. Other employees within the company can also be trained so that they can be redeployed as necessary should their colleagues test positive for COVID-19.
Regular COVID-19 testing, adherence to workplace safe management measures and regular contact with affected employees were also encouraged.
MOM said employers could also develop company policy on leave and salary arrangements in consultation with unions where applicable, should the company decide to temporarily suspend operations due to the absence of employees critical to core business functions.
The ministry listed the provision of additional paid leave, consumption of paid sick leave or annual leave as examples of such arrangements.
Employers can refer to the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment (TAMEM) for recommended practices on leave and salary matters arising from business disruptions.
The tripartite advisory urged both employers and employees to continue to work together as Singapore deals with this period of elevated daily cases. In some cases, this may mean that some employees would be requested to put in more hours to cover for the absence of their colleagues.
“The tripartite partners also call on the public to support all our employees and employers, as they do their best to continue to deliver goods and services to the wider community despite temporary staff shortages. Let us be prepared to exercise patience if there is unavoidable delay, and also encourage them in their efforts.”
BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its developments
Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic: https://cna.asia/telegram