SINGAPORE: Enforcement action has been taken against 66 companies since May 16 for failing to comply with COVID-19 measures at workplaces, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Tuesday (Jul 20).
This was after receiving more than 3,500 pieces of feedback relating to workplace safe management measures since the start of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), it added.
"Some of this feedback could have been averted if employers had made adjustments to allow their employees to work from home or communicated their operational needs clearly," said MOM in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
The most common violation of measures is failing to ensure employees who are able to work from home do so, said the ministry.
Companies that do not adhere to the measures can be fined or ordered to cease operations for serious breaches.
WORK FROM HOME REMAINS THE DEFAULT
Under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures, work-from-home remains the default at workplaces and employers must ensure that employees who are able to work from home do so.
Singapore had started easing some measures on Jun 14 under a two-step plan to move to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert).
But with COVID-19 cases rising in recent days, authorities on Tuesday announced a return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from Jul 22 to Aug 18, with dining-in suspended and group sizes for social gatherings reduced from five to two.
"Work-from-home will continue to be the default at workplaces. Employers must ensure that employees who are able to work from home do so. There should continue to be no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites," said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday.
Employers should continue to stagger the start times of employees who need to return to the workplace and implement flexible working hours.
Social gatherings at the workplace will not be allowed.
For employees who are unable to work from home due to the nature of their work, or are required to return to their workplaces on an ad hoc basis for work that cannot be done at home, employers should clearly explain to them why they are required to return, said MOM.
"We also encourage employees to clarify their concerns with their employer," the ministry added.
Employees are reminded to observe a safe distance of at least 1m when they are at the workplace.
Clear safe distancing markers should also be placed at common areas to reduce crowding, especially during peak hours, said MOM.