Update: Per the government's latest announcement on 24 Sep, the snap WFH regime will be suspended during the period of default WFH from 27 Sep to 24 Oct.
The duration of the snap WFH regime has been shortened from 14 days to 10 days, and will now apply to firms with three or more COVID-positive cases working at the same premises/branch, detected within a period of seven consecutive days. Full updates here.
Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has updated details of its snap work-from-home (WFH) regime, in the event there is a confirmed COVID-19 case at the workplace.
As part of this update, effective tomorrow (Wednesday, 22 September 2021), the following will apply:
- The duration of the snap WFH regime will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days.
- It will apply to companies with three or more COVID-positive cases working at the same premises/branch, detected within a period of seven consecutive days.
- Affected workers ((including on-site contractors and vendors) who have been placed on snap WFH arrangements will be able to return to office for ad-hoc reasons, if they test negative via an Antigen Rapid Test (ART).
In line with that, here are the updated steps employers need to take if there are confirmed cases/ unwell employees:
When there are three or more confirmed COVID-19 cases
A follow-up plan must be put in place. Employees (including onsite contractors and vendors) must inform the company if they test positive via a COVID-19 PCR test.
Upon being notified of a confirmed case, employers must adopt the following precautionary measures:
- Implement the 10-day snap work-from-home regime for those who can work from home as soon as possible, and no later than one day after the date of the latest positive test result when the following conditions are met:
- Three or more COVID-positive cases working at the same premises / branch;
- Each of these cases were present in their workplace within seven days from their respective test results. For example, if the individual was confirmed positive on 22 September 2021, he would be considered if he had been at work anytime from 15 September 2021; and
- The three confirmed cases should be detected within a seven-day rolling period. For example, if the first case was detected on 22 September, any subsequent cases detected from 22 September to 28 September, and have been in the workplace seven days prior to their test date would be considered.
- Identify close contacts of the confirmed cases and get them to self-isolate. Monitor if contacts received MOH’s QO or Health Risk Warning / Alerts.
- All affected employees are encouraged to monitor their health and administer ART self-swabs during the 10-day period at least twice a week, and before returning onsite.
- Immediately vacate and cordon-off the immediate section of the workplace premises where the confirmed case worked. There is no need to vacate the building or the whole floor if there had been no sustained and close contact with the confirmed case; and
- Carry out a thorough cleaning and disinfecting all relevant on-site areas and assets that were exposed to confirmed cases, in accordance to NEA guidelines.
- Affected workers (including on-site contractors and vendors) who have been placed on snap WFH arrangements will be able to return to office for ad-hoc reasons, if they test negative via an ART. The test should be completed before they return to the workplace, and not be more than 24 hours before the end of their ad-hoc return to the workplace.
For worksites with multiple confirmed cases, businesses could be suspended if there are public health grounds.
When there are unwell/suspected cases
An evacuation plan must be prepared for unwell or suspected cases, as well as for other onsite personnel.
- Any employee who is feeling unwell or showing symptoms of illness should report to his employer, leave the workplace and consult a doctor immediately, even if symptoms may appear mild. Employers must track and record these cases as part of safe management measures.
- For incapacitated or unconscious individuals, employers must clear the area of other personnel and administer aid immediately. Employers should call 995 for an emergency ambulance to ferry them to the nearest hospital.
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