In order to help employers understand how to use job sharing to offer their staff more flexibility, the Manpower Ministry (MOM) and Singapore National Employers Federation (Snef) have introduced an implementation guide.
Job sharing, where two or more people share responsibilities of one full-time job, differs from part-time jobs, which are self-contained jobs with less than 35 hours of work per week.
At the launch of the guide, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Low Yen Ling stated that besides being a boon for young parents, flexi-work arrangements (FWAs) like job sharing can also benefit millennials who value work-life balance.
It also benefits older employees who choose to work at a lower intensity to spend more time with grandchildren or on hobbies.
While job sharing is yet to catch on in Singapore, with only 2 percent of companies offering it, Ms Low added it is growing in popularity in countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia. She added that flexi-work arrangements can benefit both companies and workers by boosting talent retention and strengthening staff morale while helping people achieve career and family goals simultaneously.
Speaking to the media, Ms Low added, "The availability of FWAs like job sharing will be even more important especially in our ageing society, where more Singaporeans will have to take on caregiving duties for the old while taking care of their young family members.”
The 24-page guide lists steps employers can take. These include identifying jobs which can be shared by function, geography, time or workload; ensuring workers and supervisors are clear about roles and responsibilities to achieve work outcomes; and fixing a regular time for staff on job sharing and their supervisors to check in with each other.
It also includes success cases as well as a sample addendum which employers can tag on to employment contracts, setting out the reduced working hours and salary agreed on.
The guide which was first announced during the debate on the ministry's budget in March, is now available online at MOM and Snef's websites and will also be distributed to employers as a small book.
Ms Low also encouraged employers to tap the Work-Life Grant, which provides up to $2,000 a year for each regular user of flexi-work arrangements, capped at $70,000 per firm over two years.
Companies can also claim up to $3,500 per user for job-sharing arrangements for full-time professionals, managers, executives and technicians, capped at $35,000 per firm over two years.
While job sharing can benefit both employers and workers, with research showing that it increases employee productivity and reduces hiring costs but most companies here may have no idea how to work out such an arrangement. With the launch of this guide, the Singapore government is taking another step to boost flexi work arrangements in the country, in line with the changing times.
The full guide can be accessed here.