Forum: 4-day work week one of several options for flexible work arrangements

We refer to the article, "Employers, staff urged to be open to flexible work arrangements, including 4-day work week" (Sept 13).

The Singapore National Employers Federation agrees with Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang that there is no one-size-fits-all type of work arrangement that fits all work settings.

Each employer needs to decide what types of flexible work arrangements can work for the organisation and meet employee needs without disrupting business operations.

As the work-life needs of employees are different and will change over time, it is more useful for employers to implement a suite of flexible work arrangements and be flexible in supporting their employees than to narrowly focus on having a four-day work week.

The four-day work week discussion is about taking care of employees' well-being.

A compressed work schedule, telecommuting and part-time work are some of the options available. These will work for employers in some settings and not others, just as how they may meet the needs of some employees and not others.

Hence, having a suite of flexible work arrangements and being flexible would give employers more options to better support their employees.

We also note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the proportion of employers which implemented at least one type of flexible work arrangement rose to 78 per cent in 2020, from 53 per cent in 2019, according to the Ministry of Manpower.

We will ride the momentum by working with our tripartite partners to assist employers to implement suitable flexible work arrangements which are sustainable, so that employers can benefit from a more engaged and productive workforce even as employees achieve better work-life harmony.

Sim Gim Guan

Executive Director

Singapore National Employers Federation

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