E-briefing: Suspension of Activities at Workplace Premises from 7 April 2020
To reduce the risk of further local transmission of COVID-19, all business, social or other activities that cannot be conducted through telecommuting from home will be suspended from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020 (inclusive). Companies that are able to continue to operate their business (in limited or full capacity) with their employees working from home should continue to do so.
Essential services and their related supply chains are exempted from the suspension. The full list of exempted services is available here: https://covid.gobusiness.gov.sg/essentialservices/. To check: you may call the Enterprise Infoline at 6898-1800 from 8am-8pm (Monday to Sunday).
For businesses that provide essential services, it will still need to declare details of its operations at the workplace, including its plans to implement the enhanced safe distancing measures, by end of 13 April 2020. This can be done online by logging in here with your Corporate Pass: https://form.gov.sg/#!/5e87c80db9fb330011c9473e. Company may continue with on-site operations until it receives a reply from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Businesses that provide essential services need to operate with the minimum staff needed on the premises to ensure the continued running of the services, and implement strict safe distancing measures. It must comply with the following:
- Ensure all activities that can take place though telecommuting are done from home
- Implementing safe distancing measures to reduce physical interactions by:
- Reducing the need for and duration of physical interactions;
- Staggering working hours;
- Postponing all group events; and
- Implementing shift work and/or split team arrangements.
For businesses that do not provide essential services, it may choose to apply for exemption such that the company can continue to operate from its premises. However, please first read the list of Frequently Asked Questions by MTI (see Annex B of the guidance - link below) before you decide to apply for exemption.
- If applying for exemption (general) from suspension of business activities, you can do so here: https://form.gov.sg/#!/5e87c80db9fb330011c9473e
- If applying for exemption for a limited-period of time, you can do so here: https://form.gov.sg/#!/5e87d8f1ecef6900111a20b3
- Company must suspend its on-site activities until it receives a reply from Ministry of Trade and Industry. Company can continue to operate by way of telecommuting.
Guidelines for Employers with Affected Workers
Employers should plan and carry out duties or tasks that must be performed at the workplace premises, before the additional safe distancing measures come into effect.
Employers should work out clear salary and leave arrangements with employees who cannot work from home or at their workplace premises, based on the principle of shared responsibility. Such arrangements should take into consideration the government support for wages and any subsidies for training.
For more details, please see: https://www.mti.gov.sg/-/media/MTI/Newsroom/Press-Releases/2020/03/Suspension-of-Activities-at-Workplace-Premises-to-Reduce-COVID-19-Transmission.pdf
Should you have any queries, please contact:
Partner, Eversheds Harry Elias
+65 6361 9883
Senior Associate, Eversheds Harry Elias
+65 6361 9806
For more information, please contact our Business Development Manager, Ricky Soetikno at [email protected]