Parliament: Guidelines on flexible work arrangements coming up, says Hawazi

This November, the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy will issue an advisory to set out guidelines on implementing flexible work arrangements, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi said on Friday, May 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST
This November, the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy will issue an advisory to set out guidelines on implementing flexible work arrangements, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi said on Friday, May 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - This November, the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy will issue an advisory to set out guidelines on implementing flexible work arrangements, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Hawazi Daipi said on Friday.

This will be in conjunction with a week-long work-life campaign . "What we want to do is to enlighten employers and employees on the benefits of work life," he said. Work-life harmony will not just improve employees' quality of life, but can benefit firms as it helps them attract and retain workers.

He was responding to Workers' Party MP Lee Li Lian (Punggol East), who said on Thursday: "Work-life harmony has been tackled exclusively in the domain of manpower policy. This clearly has not worked."

This is not the case, said Mr Hawazi. Work-life harmony is not just handled by the Ministry of Manpower. "We involve different parties and government agencies which try to promote different aspects of working, work-life and enhancement of productivity in the tripartite network that I chair."

Firms' practices have also been improving, he noted. In 2012, 41 per cent of companies offered at least one form of flexible work arrangement, up from 35 per cent in 2008. "Does more need to be done to promote worklife? Yes, indeed. But all tripartite partners working very hard."

In response, Ms Lee agreed that work-life harmony "doesn't just rely solely on MOM". That, she added, was why she suggested that the National Productivity and Continuing Education Council should address the topic too, as concerns over productivity are one factor keeping firms from offering flexible work arrangements.

She added that she looked forward to the campaign in November. "Hopefully we can see more advancements in this area."