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COVID-19: AIA Singapore employees to receive S$1,000 in work from home assistance scheme

COVID-19: AIA Singapore employees to receive S$1,000 in work from home assistance scheme

A laptop and other work from home items are seen on a table. (File photo: Unsplash/Christopher Gower)

SINGAPORE: AIA Singapore employees will receive S$1,000 as part of the company’s work from home assistance scheme to support staff members amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The lump sum payment is available to all permanent and contract staff members and will be paid out to more than 1,000 employees, the insurance company said on Wednesday (Jun 17).

"This move will help staff cushion any financial impact that their family could be facing and ride through this challenging time," the firm said in a media release.

On top of that, employees will also be granted an additional day off and are encouraged to use this time to "focus on their personal well-being".

The company also said that it was “embracing new norms” and working to extend flexible work from home arrangements for all employees as part of a permanent arrangement even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

READ: Facebook's Zuckerberg embraces remote work beyond Silicon Valley

“Employees will be able to choose which days of the week that they would like to work from home, customising their time and working arrangements around their individual needs,” said AIA Singapore.

This is to provide them with more flexibility and “encourage better work life integration”.

AIA Singapore chief executive officer Patrick Teow said that there are currently no plans for any salary cuts.

“We would like to convey our deepest appreciation to our employees and thank them for their continual commitment and dedication in stepping up to support our company and our customers,” he said.

AIA Singapore’s move comes as other companies around the world have taken steps to support their employees during the transition to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, Twitter became the first major tech company to allow employees who can work remotely to do so indefinitely.

When mandatory work from home orders were issued, Twitter said all employees would receive reimbursement toward their home office set up expenses.

This included home office equipment such as desks, chairs and ergonomic chair cushions. Employees at Twitter were also allowed to expense online fees while working from home.

This work from home stipend was later raised to US$1,000 by co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. Parents who faced additional daycare expenses during the COVID-19 period were also eligible for reimbursements.

READ: Google announces company holiday on May 22 to stem virus burnout

Facebook also offered its employees a US$1,000 allowance for work from home purposes, CTV News reported.

The social network company also gave away free Portal video chat devices to employees who requested them, CNBC reported in March.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last month that he expects about half of the company’s workforce to eventually do their jobs remotely over the next five to 10 years

Google employees were also given an allowance of US$1,000 to expense necessary equipment and office furniture.

Last month, the company announced a day off for all workers on May 22 to address work-from-home related burnout. Staff members who are able to work remotely were also allowed to do so until the end of the year.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source: CNA/agencies/zl(mi)

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