HR in The News | October 2021

Katie Ash

Oct 6, 2021
Here is a round-up of the top HR new stories, updates and insights from the past month in Singapore:

🔸 New IRAS update for all businesses

All businesses with 5 or more employees are mandated to register and join the Auto-Inclusion Scheme (AIS) by IRAS under the gazette under S68(2) of the Income Tax Act. If you have 4 employees or less, you are encouraged to join as well, especially if you are hiring more employees within the year.

If you have registered for AIS, IR8A submission of employees income can be submitted directly via Swingvy.

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🔸 Singapore mandates firms to notify worker layoffs

All firms in Singapore with at least 10 staff will have to notify the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of all layoffs from November 1, regardless of the number of employees retrenched.

Currently, employers are only required to notify MOM when they retrench five or more workers within six months.

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🔸 Singapore is officially the most 'fatigued' country

Singapore came out on top as the most fatigued nation in the world, revealed in research by manufacturer Sleepseeker. According to the data, Singapore has a fatigue score of 7.20, followed closely by Mexico with 7.01, and Brazil with 6.28.

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🔸 How can you deal with an aggressive, bullying boss? What if it’s your colleague?

When our workplaces become arenas for toxic behaviour, productivity and mental health of workers are affected. In the latest Kantar survey on workplace inclusion index, one in five employees reported being bullied or harassed, especially after working from home.

Correspondingly, one in three experienced stress and anxiety, more than half said they don’t feel emotionally supported and one in 10 reported mental health related illness such as depression.

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🔸 How business travel may never be the same again

Many workers around the world are tired of the grind of corporate travel. Many companies are also scaling back business travel, including Mars, who have said cost, environmental and health considerations were behind its decision to keep travel to less than half pre-pandemic levels. This is bad news for the airlines, hotels and conference centres that rely on this lucrative business.

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🔸 New task force to help Singaporeans get jobs in 10 sectors

As the nation prepares to live normally with Covid-19 and restructures its economy, Singapore’ Ministry of Manpower forms a new Jobs Taskforce to help locals find jobs in 10 key potential sectors.

The 10 sectors are infocommunications technology and media, financial services, professional services such as accountancy, manufacturing, healthcare, wholesale trade, built environment, logistics, food services and retail.

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🔸 Businesses in favour of more COVID-19 testing, but concerned about increased costs | Video

Businesses are in favour of more COVID-19 testing for workers, but they are also concerned about increased costs in the long run. That is as the Government, unions and employers discuss guidelines on more pervasive testing for workplaces. Gwyneth Teo reports.

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🔸 Can HR ban unvaccinated employees from the office?

Since August, Singapore has allowed offices to operate at 50% capacity, regardless of employees’ vaccination statuses. Despite this, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced that if an employee tests positive and was at the workplace in the past seven days, the company must order everyone to work-from-home for at least 14 days. HRD explored how HR and company leaders can manage a safe return to work and mitigate any risks.

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🔸 The most common vaccination incentives Singapore employers are offering

Paid time-off for employees getting the vaccine is the most popular incentive among 71% of the local employers surveyed, while cash bonuses and dinner vouchers are also on the list.

According to Indeed's latest report, Vaccination: The Path to the New Normal in the Workplace, Singapore's workforce sees vaccination against COVID-19 as essential to get employees back to work safely, fight stress, and help economic recovery.

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🔸 How to manage COVID-positive staff in Singapore

Employers across Singapore have been ordered to implement an immediate 14-day work-from-home scheme for all employees if a staff member tests positive for COVID-19. This is part of the government's latest string of instructions as more businesses make their employees return to work. In the government's latest updated instructions, a follow-up plan must be implemented in an office in the event of a confirmed case.

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