Government Allows More Workers to Return to Office Come January 2022

Up to 50 per cent of workers who are currently working from home may return to the office after the new year.
By Ian Tan Hanhonn 14 Dec 2021

Up to 50 per cent of workers who are currently working from home may return to the office from 1 January 2022, announced the Government.

This is a significant change in stance for the Multi-Ministerial Taskforce on COVID-19, which has long held that working from home should be the default for employees who are able to do so.

Speaking to the press on 14 December 2021, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said that with the implementation of workplace vaccination measures, Singapore is in a better position to relax on work from home arrangements.

He said: “While work from home has been the default arrangement, we recognise that this arrangement is not ideal and not sustainable. In the long run, face to face interaction is important for team dynamics, as well as other operational considerations.”

However, Mr Gan noted that social gatherings in the workplace will continue to be disallowed to minimise infection risks.

He also shared that the Government will raise the 50 person cap for work-related events, provided all participants are masked and seated, as well as placed at a safe distance from one another.

All event participants must still meet the Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS) requirements.

Mandated Rostered Routine Testing (RRT)

The Government will continue to support companies that are required to conduct mandatory Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) by extending subsidies till 31 March 2022.

This is an extension of three months from the initial announced date of 31 December 2021.

With that said, the Ministry of Health (MOH) noted that employers and businesses should prepare to factor in testing costs as part of their normal business operations moving forward.