1. Are Safe Management Measures mandatory and who should implement them?
Yes, it is mandatory for all businesses to put in place Safe Management Measures to provide a safe working environment for employees and prevent COVID-19 transmission at the workplace before they resume onsite operations. Businesses must comply with the requirements for Safe Management Measures seen here and any sector-specific requirements which apply to them.
2. How do I start preparing my company for the Safe Management requirements?
The Ministry of Manpower has issued new requirements for employers on the Safe Management measures required of employers allowed to resume their operations after the enhanced circuit breaker period. Details on the Safe Management measures can be found at https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/requirements-for-safe-management-measures.
These measures will help provide a safe working environment and minimise risks of further outbreaks of COVID-19. Employers should implement these Safe Management measures before resuming operations and be prepared to undertake them for as long as necessary.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Are my employees allowed to have meals together in the pantry?
Employees should avoid socialising with colleagues within (e.g. in canteen or pantries) and outside of the workplace. Safe distancing of at least one metre should be maintained at all times.
6. Can I have a meal with my colleagues at F&B outlets?
You must avoid socialising with your colleagues within the workplace (e.g. in canteen or pantries).
You are also encouraged not to socialise with colleagues outside of the workplace, both during or outside working hours.
Safe distancing of at least 1 metre should be maintained between all employees at the workplace at all times.
7. Can employees use the recreational facilities (e.g. gyms, lounges) at the workplace in Phase 2?
Recreational facilities at workplaces should continue to be closed in Phase 2. As there is likely to be prolonged and repeated contact between multiple personnel at the workplace as compared to in public places, avoiding usage of such facilities will help mitigate against transmission risk.
The default working mode for employees is for them to work from home. In the event that there is no alternative and they have to go down to the workplace, they should minimise their time on site and perform only the duties for which they are required to be physically present.
8. Can employees use employer-provided recreational facilities which are not located at the workplace?
Access to standalone recreational facilities which are located away from employees’ workplaces will depend on the re-opening plans for relevant permitted enterprises.
These facilities will also be subject to stricter safe management measures (e.g. maintaining a distance of at least 2 – 3 metres from each other when engaging in any sporting activity or physical exercise).
When visiting such facilities, employees will still have to comply with the relevant safe management measures put in place for that setting.
9. How do I ensure that my employees and visitors adhere to Safe Management Measures?
Employers are required to ensure that Safe Management Measures are in place and communicated to employees prior to resuming work. Employers should have a plan to communicate their Safe Management Measures to employees through their internal communications channels such as emails, notices, and signs to remind employees and visitors to observe the measures.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. Is my company allowed to arrange physical meetings with external guests?
Companies that are allowed to resume operations must continue to minimise internal and external meetings between employees and with suppliers/contractors/clients/guests and conduct them virtually where possible. For meetings that need to be held physically, companies should limit the number of attendees and keep the meeting short. Companies should also ensure that all employees and guests adhere to the necessary Safe Management Measures, including ensuring physical spacing of at least one metre between persons at all times.
Companies should also comply with any other additional sector-specific requirements that may have been issued by their respective sector agencies.
14. 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).
15. 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.
**16. Must I wear a mask throughout the day at work, for example, if I am at a work cubicle? **
Everyone should wear a mask when they are outside their homes. This includes while they are at the workplace.
However, if an individual is alone in his or her own office with the door closed, and no other person enters the room, the individual may remove his or her mask in the room. If the room door is opened or if there is any contact with people, a mask must be used.