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Flexible Work Arrangement in Singapore

28 mai 2024

On 16 April 2024, the Ministry of Manpower shared the Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangement Requests (“Guidelines”) adopted by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Practices (“TAFEP”).

The Guidelines set out the minimum requirements that all employers in Singapore are required to abide by in relation to fairly considering formal flexible work arrangements (“FWA”) requests from all employees having completed probation, while acknowledging that employers continue to have the prerogative to decide on work arrangements. By 1 December 2024, employers must implement a procedure of FWA request for employees in order to make it easier for employees to request FWA. In Singapore, FWA can take various forms:

Companies having in place formal or informal practices on FWA that work well for employers and employees do not need to adopt a formal FWA request process. However, if an employer’s existing process for requesting FWA is absent or lacking, an employee may lodge a formal FWA request based on the Guidelines. 

In the absence of any process or stipulated requirements, an employee must make a formal FWA request which satisfies the basic requirements below; failing which, the request will not be a formal request covered by the Guidelines:

  1. the FWA request must be in writing;
  2. the FWA request must mention:
  3. the date of the FWA request;
  4. FWA requested (including frequency and duration);
  5. reason for the FWA request;
  6. requested start and end date of the FWA (if relevant).

Alternatively, the employee may use the sample template in Annex A of the Guidelines.

The employer shall discuss the FWA request in an open and constructive manner, and come to a mutual agreement on how best to meet both the organisation and employees’ needs. Employers are entitled to reject a FWA request but only on reasonable business grounds (costs, detrimental to productivity, feasibility…) and not on unreasonable grounds (such as bias against FWA, tradition, preference for direct sight despite satisfactory work performance…)

Employers must communicate their decision within two (2) months from the request. Employers may use the sample response form in Annex B of the Guidelines. 

For more information contact Lisbeth Lanvers-Shah or Olivier Monange.


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