1. Are Safe Management Measures mandatory, and what enforcement actions will MOM take against businesses that do not implement it?
MOM and sector agencies will take calibrated enforcement actions based on the areas of non-compliance found. For workplaces that severely lack Safe Management Measures, we will direct employers to stop operations at the workplace. Employers will have to take steps to ensure that Safe Management Measures are in place before operations can resume.
Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, failure to comply with Safe Management Measures is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to 6 months, or both. Repeated non-compliance is punishable with a fine of up to $20,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.
2. Who is empowered to enforce the requirements and how can I verify the identity of enforcement officers inspecting my workplace?
Enforcement action may be taken by any of the following persons under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act:
- A police officer;
- A Health Officer appointed under section 4(1)(a) or (b) of the Infectious Diseases Act;
- A public officer;
- An officer of a statutory body;
- An auxiliary police officer; and
- An employee of a prescribed institution under the Infectious Diseases Act.
You can verify the identity of enforcement officers via their authority cards or their public service identification cards.
3. Where can I find more guidance on implementing Safe Management Measures in the workplace?
You may refer to the Checklist of Safe Management Measures at the Workplace for Resumption of Business Activities here, for an overview of the requirements that must be fulfilled prior to resuming business activities at the workplace. For more information, please refer here.
Unionised companies are also encouraged to engage their unions on such arrangements.
4. If I am unable to implement all the safe management measures in time. Will I still be allowed to resume operations?
No. Companies must ensure that all safe management measures are in place before they resume operations.
The Government takes a serious view of any infringement of safe distancing measures and will not hesitate to take actions against non-compliant businesses.
Under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, first-time offenders will face a fine of up to S$10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Subsequent offences may face a fine of up to S$20,000, imprisonment of up to twelve months, or both.
5. I am having difficulties implementing the safe management measures. Who can I seek help from?
For enquires on implementing safe management measures at the workplace, please contact MOM and MOH.
6. How do I ensure that my employees and visitors adhere to Safe Management Measures?
Employers are responsible for ensuring that Safe Management Measures are in place, communicated and explained to employees prior to resuming work. Signs should also be put up to remind employers and visitors to observe all measures in place.
7. Is it possible for my business to resume operations earlier if I have implemented all Safe Management Measures at my workplace?
To prevent the re-emergence of community cases, we will need to open the economy gradually, and not all at once. In general, sectors that allow us to trade with the world and access critical supplies will start first. Sectors that attract high traffic and social interactions will have to wait and put in place additional safe measures before restarting progressively.
You can resume business operations only if your company falls under MTI’s list of activities and services that can resume operations, and your company has implemented all required Safe Management Measures at your workplace.
8. We have received two advisories, one from MOM and another from the sector agency. Which one do we follow?
The advisory on Safe Management Measures and the accompanying checklist issued by MOM are for workplaces in general. Where there may be sector-specific considerations, companies should also refer to the sector-specific advisories issued, over and above MOM’s advisory.
9. My employees do not have a specific workplace as they are deployed to client’s site to provide goods and services. How can I implement Safe Management Measures?
All employers must implement Safe Management Measures at their workplaces for all employees and contractors.
Companies which have employees that are deployed to other sites should ensure that their employees comply with the Safe Management Measures put in place at these sites. In fact, some of the Safe Management Measures can be implemented by employers regardless of where employees are deployed, such as health monitoring.
10. My company is unable to adhere to the one metre safe distancing requirement. Can I adopt other protective measures instead (e.g. installing acrylic dividers), in place of the one metre safe distancing requirement?
No. The default is to ensure at least one metre safe distancing between persons at all times. While acrylic dividers or other physical barriers can be adopted alongside the safe distancing requirement to further mitigate droplet transmission risk between persons, they are not meant to be used as a substitute for the safe distancing requirement. Where physical barriers (e.g. acrylic dividers) are used, additional safeguards must be taken to minimise the risk of cross infection (e.g. frequent cleaning and disinfection of dividers to prevent fomite transmission).
11. In an office setting, would leaving an empty desk marked (e.g. with a cross) suffice for safe distancing? For barriers between workstations, are there guidelines for how high they need to be?
Employers must ensure clear physical spacing of at least one metre between persons at all times and demarcate safe physical distances (at least one metre apart) with visual indicators or physical means such as barriers between work stations.
If leaving an empty desk and demarcating clearly with visual indicators allows for at least one metre distancing between employees, such an approach can be considered. For barriers between workstations, while there are no specific height guidelines, the barriers should also facilitate the required safe physical distance of one metre apart.