HR in the News | September 2021

Katie Ash

Sep 2, 2021
Many workplace restrictions have eased across Singapore as we hit vaccine targets. More and more workers are returning to the workplace, and businesses are feeling confident that we've turned a corner in the pandemic. Here is a round-up of the top HR new stories, updates and insights from the past month in Singapore:

🔸 Singapore salary guide 2021: HR, administration & business support, sales & marketing, and more

Links International's Singapore Salary Guide 2021 deep-dives into six sectors in Singapore to compare market trends between 2020 to 2021, as well as to provide salary indices across various roles. The sectors are: sales & marketing; banking, finance & accounting; information & technology; HR, administration & business support; sourcing, supply chain & manufacturing, and life science & healthcare.

Based on the report, all six sectors are projected to have salary increments of up to 11% (in case of no job change), and projected salary increments of up to 25% (with job change).

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🔸 All employers urged to adopt COVID-19 'vaccinate or regular test' as company policy

All employers are encouraged to consider adopting the COVID-19 "vaccinate or regular test" regime as company policy for existing employees and new hires.

As part of this, they may implement vaccination-differentiated measures in the workplace, including requiring medically eligible but unvaccinated employees to bear coronavirus-related expenses, such as for their swab tests.

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🔸 Flexibility is the Key to Successful Hybrid Working

The businesses that evolve will succeed; open-minded leaders are setting the pace by embracing a mix of home and office-based work.

Remote working yielded a number of advantages. But not all employers are keen on indefinite remote working. Some employees feel that human interaction in the workplace is vital, while for others, the prospect of returning to the office causes anxiety. If we approach the opportunity to embrace hybrid working with flexibility and genuine, open-minded curiosity, businesses can create models that play to everyone’s strengths by making the most of the advantages we discovered during remote working.

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🔸 Three key skills for remote jobs

Core skills – also known as soft skills – like communication, collaboration, organization, and critical thinking are quickly rising to the top of the list for recruiters in 2021. Hard skills are important for sure, and employers should focus on these more than on formal education and pedigree, especially for tech and IT roles. However, core skills are transferable across roles and even industries.

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🔸 Singaporean confidence soars post-vaccine

A recent report by Randstad has revealed that more than 3 in 5 workers in Singapore believes they will have more job opportunities after they receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The H1 2021 Workmonitor (Singapore) is a bi-annual survey that highlights the workforce’s latest sentiments and perceptions of the local job market.

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🔸 APAC employers planning larger pay rises for 2022 as optimism returns

Pay rises are making a comeback. Companies in Asia Pacific (APAC) plan to give employees larger rises next year as they recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic and face mounting challenges attracting and retaining employees, according to the latest Salary Budget Planning Report by Willis Towers Watson.

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🔸 NDR 2021: Fair employment guidelines to become law, new tribunal to deal with workplace discrimination

The fair employment watchdog will soon get more teeth to deal with workplace discrimination when its guidelines become law.

Mr Lee addressed the concerns of middle-income Singaporeans over competition with work pass holders for jobs and opportunities at work. The move will give the authorities a wider range of options to ensure fair treatment at the workplace, including tackling unfair hiring practices against Singaporeans.

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🔸 Progressive wages to be extended to 8 in 10 lower-wage workers by 2023

Within the next two years, progressive wages will cover most lower-wage resident workers in Singapore, and firms that hire foreigners will also have to pay their local employees a minimum of S$1,400.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that it has accepted all recommendations by the Tripartite Workgroup on Lower-Wage Workers. Taken together, the 18 recommendations will expand the coverage of progressive wages – Singapore’s version of a minimum wage – to 82 per cent of lower-wage local workers by March 2023.

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🔸 Feeling anxious about returning to your office? Here are tips on how to cope

In this latest wave of uncertainty around COVID-19, the Delta variant and breakthrough infections have complicated plans for a smooth return to the physical workplace, reigniting concerns over safety, even among vaccinated workers. Here are some expert ways to potentially ease anxiety as some workers head back to their desks.

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🔸 How to keep remote staff happy

Hybrid work will soon be the norm. After nearly two years of being fully remote, our expectations of what work should look like have forever changed. With over two in three companies planning to make remote working a permanent policy in the post-pandemic world, leaders have focused on tweaking their engagement strategies to sustain a positive experience. Fortunately, plenty of studies and discussions held through the crisis have offered a clue into what remote staff most expect from leaders.

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