Work Group Highlights Flexi-Work Rules to Increase Workforce Engagement

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Work Group Highlights Flexi-Work Rules to Increase Workforce Engagement


3 min read

Source: The Straits Times
Article Date: 23 April 2024

The introduction of new regulations mandating fair consideration of employee requests for flexible work arrangements is targeted at attracting and retaining individuals who might otherwise not participate in the workforce, as outlined by the work group overseeing these regulations. These guidelines, encapsulated in the Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangement Requests, are envisioned to serve as a catalyst in harnessing the full potential of the local workforce.

During a panel discussion held on April 23, representatives from the work group and various industry bodies emphasized the transformative impact these guidelines are expected to have. By providing a structured framework for flexible work arrangements, the guidelines aim to facilitate greater inclusivity and adaptability within the workforce, fostering an environment conducive to sustained engagement and productivity.

Quoting the article " Aim of new rules on flexi-work requests is to draw more people into workforce, says work group" penned by Tay Hong Yi, The Strait Times:

" Mr Ang Yuit, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, and Mr Sim Gim Guan, SNEF’s executive director, rounded off the panel, which sought to address concerns raised after the announcement of the guidelines on April 15.

These include the risk of promoting offshoring of local jobs, ways to foster restraint and responsibility among both employers and employees, and the range of arrangements the guidelines cover.

“I hope people will calm down and have a care to read the (tripartite guidelines),” said Ms Gan, who is also Minister of State for Education.

On offshoring, Mr Ng said businesses decide on their workforce profile based on where business needs lie, and where the required skilled talents are located, and not because of the existence of such guidelines.

He added that the work group preferred to let businesses decide what is best for their business.

Mr Ang expressed hope that the guidelines will expand the talent pool for roles small and medium-sized enterprises struggle to hire locally for, as well as improving manpower deployment, even as businesses offshore roles to manage costs and expand their reach. "

This article excerpt highlights the implementation of new rules requiring employers to consider flexible work arrangement requests fairly. It's encouraging to see efforts aimed at accommodating the diverse needs of the workforce, especially in a time where work-life balance has become increasingly important. By acknowledging and addressing the evolving needs of employees, these rules have the potential to create a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

Flexible work arrangements not only benefit individual employees by allowing them to better manage their personal and professional responsibilities but also contribute to overall organizational success. Embracing flexibility can lead to higher job satisfaction, increased productivity, and reduced turnover rates. Additionally, by accommodating employees' needs, companies demonstrate a commitment to employee well-being, which can enhance their employer brand and attract top talent.

However, it's important to ensure that these rules are implemented effectively and that employers genuinely embrace the principles of fairness and inclusivity. There may be challenges in balancing the needs of employees with operational requirements, but with open communication and a collaborative approach, organizations can navigate these challenges successfully. Overall, I believe that prioritizing flexibility in the workplace is not only beneficial for individuals but also essential for creating a positive and sustainable work culture.

Source: Aim of new rules on flexi-work requests is to draw more people into workforce, says work group

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