Immediate 14-day WFH for all staff if confirmed Covid-19 case was in office within a week

The firms should also encourage all its employees to conduct self-swab Covid-19 tests every two to three days during the period. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Firms with employees who were in the workplace at any time in the seven days prior to testing positive for Covid-19 must require all employees able to work from home (WFH) to do so for 14 days.

Employers must also take active steps to guard against potential outbreaks at the workplace by requiring workers on medical leave to closely monitor their health before returning to the office, and to ensure, where possible, their workers visit only one clinic should they feel unwell, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) reiterated on Tuesday (Sept 7).

"Employees must inform their employer if they test positive via a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test," MOM said in updated guidelines on safe management measures at the workplace that it issued together with the Singapore National Employers Federation and the National Trades Union Congress.

"Employers should implement the snap 14-day work-from-home regimen as soon as possible, and no later than one day after the positive test result."

Should a 14-day WFH period be activated, the firm should encourage all its employees to conduct self-swab Covid-19 tests every two to three days during the period, the ministry added.

Once an employee is confirmed to have contracted Covid-19, the firm should immediately vacate and cordon off the immediate section of the workplace premises where the confirmed case worked, said MOM.

But it added there is no need to vacate the building or the whole floor if there had been no sustained and close contact with the confirmed case.

The firm should then carry out a thorough cleaning and disinfection of all relevant on-site areas and assets that were exposed to confirmed cases, in accordance with the National Environment Agency's guidelines.

Business could be suspended at work sites with confirmed cases if there are public health grounds to do so, said the ministry.

MOM also reiterated that social gatherings at workplaces will not be allowed from Wednesday (Sept 8), as previously announced on Monday.

"Employees should have their meal breaks at the workplace individually," the guidelines said.

Since Aug 19, up to 50 per cent of employees have been allowed to return to the workplace. Interns, part-time staff and those under contract are also employees.

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