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Singapore: labour minister and social partners draw up charter to improve work-life balance
Planet Labor, 3 May 2021, n°12503 - www.planetlabor.com

On 26 April Gan Siow Huang, Singapore’s minister of manpower, presented alongside the National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation a charter for so-called “Work-Life Harmony” (WLH). The tripartite standard consists of a set of recommended employment practices that aim to “entrench and enhance good work-life harmony” and to help workers effectively manage their professional responsibilities and personal aspirations. The charter also seeks to recognise the varying priorities of employees at different stages of their lives. “In this new normal, Singaporeans are becoming more used to hybrid work, but are also increasingly concerned about the blurring of work-life boundaries,” Gan Siow Huang says, adding: “Adopting the new tripartite standard on work-life harmony will be a step in the right direction. Let us work on entrenching best work-life practices to boost employee morale and performance.” The charter is the result of close collaboration between the manpower ministry and social partners, who also harnessed the input of community partners, such as members of the Citizens’ Panel as well as human resource professionals. Under the standard, employers should refer to the 2017 tripartite standard on flexible work arrangements. It also recommends providing employees with enhanced leave benefits, appointing a “WLH champion” from the senior management, and regularly reviewing the effectiveness of work-life programmes to ensure they meet employees’ needs.