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Tripartite Standard on flexible work arrangements launched in Singapore

Second  Minister  for  Manpower  Josephine Teo  has launched  the Tripartite  Standard  on  flexible  work arrangements (FWAs) last Friday, 6 Oct during a Tripartite learning journey to Feinmetall Singapore.

The  Ministry  of  Manpower  (MOM),  national  trades  union  congress (NTUC), and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF)  jointly developed this tripartite standard in recognition of the important contribution that FWAs make to a supportive and conducive work environment.

According to the release, implementing FWAs benefit both employees and employers. Employees are better able to meet their work-life needs, while employers are better able to attract and retain talent, and improve the productivity of their workforce.

While many companies offer FWAs, jobseekers and employees may  not  be  aware that  they  do,  or the  types  of  FWAs available, or  how to request for them. Employees who do apply for FWAs may not be entertained by their supervisors or may not have their applications evaluated objectively.

If their requests are turned down, there is often no further avenue to discuss other alternative arrangements  with  their supervisors.  Employees  who are  granted the use of FWAs may also be worried whether they will be appraised fairly.

The press release stated: “This tripartite standard on FWAs will ensure that employees are better able to benefit from FWAs,  while  addressing  their  concerns.”

“Progressive employers who publicly adopt this standard will inform their employees of the types of FWAs available, the process to request for them and their expectations on the responsible use of FWAs,” it added.

They will communicate the outcomes of FWA applications in a timely manner. If they are unable to grant a request for FWA, supervisors will engage their employees on the reasons and where possible, discuss suitable alternatives.

They will also train their supervisors to objectively evaluate employees’ applications for FWAs and appraise them fairly. To ensure that these measures are implemented effectively, these employers will appoint a member of the senior management to champion FWAs.

Together with the tripartite partners, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) is working with employers to help them adopt this tripartite standard.

Those who have adopted the standard will be listed on TAFEP’s website and can use a logomark for their recruitment and marketing efforts.

“Jobseekers and employees can then identify such employers and  the  specific  progressive  employment  practices  implemented  by  these employers,” the press release stated.

In fact, last Friday saw more  than  250  companies which have signed  up  to  the  Tripartite Standard on FWAs as early adopters. More than 210,000 of their employees will be able to benefit from these employers’ progressive implementation  of FWAs.

Traditionally, while smaller companies may find it harder to implement FWAs, at least one in five of the early adopters of this Tripartite Standard are local small and medium enterprises (smes). Some of these companies include Accenture, Agri-Foof & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, Berry Appleman & Leiden Asia Pacific, BSH Home Appliances, and more.

Additionally, TAFEP mentioned that funding is also available for companies to tap on in the form of the workpro work-life grant. Interested   employers   may   visit  TAFEP  to   adopt   the   tripartite standard(s) or contact TAFEP  to obtain more information on the workshop and the work-life grant.

Photo / 123RF

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