30 October 2020, Singapore - On 12th August 2020, the implementation of staggered rest days was announced for the Construction, Marine and Process Sector Work Permit and S Pass holders, to spread out the number of workers at any particular location on any given day. The purpose was to prevent large gatherings and reduce the risk of cross-infection. However, as of 22nd October, about 60% of Process Sector Work Permit and S Pass holders do not have an assigned rest day.
As the deadline to select an appropriate rest day drew nearer, the Association received questions from members on the various aspects of staggered rest days. To ensure members take prompt actions to comply with the assignment of rest days, ASPRI has worked with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to organise a Zoom Webinar on this topic.
Mr Wayne Yap, Executive Director of ASPRI, opened the webinar by explaining the rationale and purpose of implementing staggered rest days. Shortly after that, he introduced Mr Christopher Koh of MOM who gave a detailed breakdown of various aspects of the topic that were of relevance to the Process Sector.
Mr Koh also stated that for Process Maintenance activities, workers can have Sunday as a rest day. To enable this, ASPRI has work closely with MOM, ESG and EDB to develop a form where members can appeal for Sunday as the rest day.
PCM companies with workers involved in turnaround maintenance or shift work can also appeal for a rotated rest day (Mon-Sat) option in the same form, which allows the worker to have a different rest day between Monday to Saturday each week, without a need for the employer to update the Safe@work system each week.
It was also decided that the initial deadline (31st October 2020) to assign a rest day for workers is to be extended to 20 November 2020, Friday.
Finally, Mr Koh addressed the questions that were raised by members through a moderated Q&A session at the end of the webinar. ASPRI would like to thank both MOM and Mr Koh for their time and making this webinar possible.