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Over 250 Singapore firms adopt new tripartite standard on flexible work arrangements

MORE than 250 companies, including employers in the public service, have signed up to a new standard on flexible work arrangements (FWAs) as early adopters, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday.

As a result, more than 210,000 of these firms' employees will stand to benefit from the progressive implementation of FWAs.

This tripartite standard on FWAs - jointly developed by the MOM, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) - was launched on Friday by Second Minister for Manpower, Josephine Teo.

In a press release, the MOM said that while smaller firms have traditionally found it harder to roll out flexible working practices, at least one in five of the early adopters are local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

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Though many firms offer FWAs, jobseekers and employees may not be aware of these provisions and the types available, or how to request them. Where employees' requests are rejected, there is often no room for discussion with their supervisors regarding alternative arrangements, the MOM noted.

This is where the tripartite standard comes in.

According to the ministry, progressive employers who adopt this standard will inform employees of the types of FWAs available, the process to request them, and their expectations on the responsible use of FWAs. They will also train managers to objectively evaluate employees' applications for FWAs and appraise them fairly.

Together with its partners, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) is working with employers to help them attain this standard. Companies that adopt these practices will be listed on TAFEP's website and can use a logomark for their recruitment and marketing efforts. Accordingly, jobseekers and employees can identify these employers.

To help companies meet the requirements of this new standard, the TAFEP will be conducting workshops on FWAs. Additionally, companies may use the funding provided through the WorkPro Work-Life Grant.

Putting FWAs in place will help employees meet their work-life needs, while allowing employers to attract and retain talent, improving workplace productivity, the MOM said.