To help Singapore businesses enhance productivity amidst the tightened foreign manpower rules, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will implement the Job Flexibility Scheme in the Services sector on 1 July 2013.
The scheme will allow Work Permit Holders in the Services sector to be flexibly deployed by multi-tasking across occupations within the same business in addition to the occupation specified in the Work Permit.
"Employers should use the scheme sensibly and reasonably, making sure that employees are adequately trained before performing new tasks," says Adrian Chua, Divisional Director of Manpower Planning & Policy at the Manpower Ministry.
"Companies should take this opportunity to review their manpower practices and use job flexibility to improve productivity. The value of the resulting productivity improvements and savings should be shared with employees, especially with those who perform additional tasks."
The Tripartite Guidelines reiterate the employment and employment-related laws that employers are expected to comply with. Before exercising job flexibility, employers should inform their employees of their redefined job scopes, and seek their employees' consent before assigning them to new tasks.
The guidelines are divided into two parts.
One is the guiding principles for employers and employees that describe the manner by which employers and employees are to benefit from this policy.
The other is legal and contractual obligations reiterating employment and employment-related laws that employers and employees are expected to comply with.
"Our key concerns are for employers to ensure fair opportunities for all workers to upgrade and reskill, and fair gain-sharing when job redesign exercises lead to improved productivity," says Cham Hui Fong, Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC. "In doing so, we hope that employers will remain mindful to exercise due diligence and discretion in redefining job scopes and ensure the welfare of their workers are looked after."