News: Singapore launches advisory on mental well-being

Employee Assistance Programs

Singapore launches advisory on mental well-being

Jointly developed by government, unions, and employers, the advisory aims to provide guidance to employers on how to support the mental wellness of their workforce.
Singapore launches advisory on mental well-being

Singapore's tripartite partners—government, unions, and employers—on November 17 launched a Tripartite Advisory on Mental Well-being, to offer guidance and resources to employers and workers. The advisory was jointly developed by the Ministry of Manpower, the the National Trades Union Congress, and the Singapore National Employers Federation, and announced by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo on the first day of the Singapore Workplace Safety and Health Conference.

The advisory had been under development since early March, and its release now comes at a time when COVID-19 and the work-from-home shift has greatly increased stress and chances of burnout for employees.

"Protecting workers’ mental health has become even more important at this time," Teo said in her address at the conference, observing that the advisory should offer much-needed guidance to employers and workers alike.

The advisory offers recommendations to support individual employees, to support teams, and to improve organizations' overall handling of mental well-being and related issues. The minister highlighted four particular recommendations:

      • Appoint and train mental wellness champions who can organize educational activities around improving mental wellness

      • Provide employees with training on self-care, and equip HR personnel and managers with the skills to support them

      • Extend employee benefits to include mental health consultations and treatments, or provide access to Employee Assistance Programs

      • Recognize the need for employees to have adequate rest outside work hours

Melvin Yong, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress, praised the last recommendation in particular, pointing out that WFH has led to many employees being landed with additional burdens as managers believe they can handle work-related matters even outside working hours.

"In recent months, I have repeatedly higlighted the danger of workplace burnout and the need for our workers to have protected time to rest and recharge, so that they can be more productive at work...I am glad to see progress being made in this area," he said.

Mental well-being was also a recurring topic of discussion during the Workplace Safety and Health Conference, with multiple speakers touching on the importance of supporting employees' mental health.

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Topics: Employee Assistance Programs, #MentalHealth

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