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Work-Life Strategies

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Understanding that each employee has different needs is key to determining his or her Work-life requirements. For example, a person in his or her 20s is concerned about balancing his or her career developments with social activities or personal pursuits. Married employees, on the other hand, would be more focused on juggling family with work. Acknowledging these differences helps your employees be more motivated and productive.
 
What it is
 
Work-Life Strategies refer to measures and initiatives which you put in place to enable your staff to better manage responsibilities at work alongside their family and personal needs. Work-Life Strategies that work are well-thought-out initiatives that cater to both the organisation’s and your employee’s specific needs. You also need proper guidelines for a sustainable and effective implementation.
 
Why is it important?
 
Singapore’s workforce today is multi-faceted, with groups from various age groups, and cultural backgrounds, who are at different life stages and have had different experiences. Organisations have been quick in recognising that meeting the diverse range of employee needs across their various life stages through Work-Life Programmes can be a strategic business tool for win-win outcomes in today’s competitive business environment. 
 
The importance of human capital and the increased competition for talent means that an effective Work-Life Strategy can provide employees with the necessary programmes to integrate various aspects of their lives while meeting work targets. This can give the organisation a significant edge in talent attraction and retention. 
 
Four Steps To A Successful Work-Life Strategy
 
This model has four essential steps that an organisation should take to implement an effective and sustainable Work‐life Strategy. These four steps should be viewed as a continuous cycle of activities. To be successful, work‐life initiatives need to remain relevant to the changing needs of your organisation and your employees.
 

 

Step 1: Establish the need to implement / modify a Work‐life Strategy

A common misunderstanding of Work-Life Strategy is that it is solely an employee-focused initiative, almost like a perk. As a business, you need to see that implementing Work‐Life Strategy is an important business strategy. To make it work, your top management needs to buy into the concept and align organisational processes accordingly. 
 
Why do organisations choose to implement Work-Life programmes?  Consider these benefits:
 
  • Attract and/or retain talent
  • Raise morale
  • Increase productivity
  • Save on real estate and overhead expenses
  • Reduce healthcare costs
  • Provide work flexibility in response to changing employee needs
  • Increase commitment
  • Combat burnout
  • Be an Employer of Choice
  • Stay ahead of the competition

 

Once you have established the need for implementing a Work-life Strategy in your organisation, you can then move on to set specific action plans, targets and the timeframe within which to achieve these plans and targets.
 

 

Step 2: Assess business needs and employees’ work‐life needs

Assessing Your Business Needs
In this step, assess your business needs so that your specific action plans remain practical and beneficial to achieving your business goals. Your business needs may include corporate values, objectives and/or operational standards that cannot be compromised for any reason. These may be broken down according to your organisation’s functional and business units, which may have different business needs due to the nature of their work.
 
For example, if your business revolves around customer-facing services (e.g. in a retail outlet) flexi-time could be a more viable option than telecommuting. On the other hand, if your business needs to operate over 24-hours (e.g. in a hospital), rotating 12-hour shifts with more days off might be appropriate, but not flexi-time.
 
As you gain a good understanding of your own business needs and processes, you will be better able to customize a successful Work-life Strategy.
 
Assessing Your Employees’ Work-Life Needs
 
Different organisations have different employee profiles and these employees have differing needs. The profile and needs of your staff also change over time. To make your Work-Life Strategy work, it’s important that you make it relevant to your employees’ changing needs. Conducting regular Work-Life Needs assessment with your employees will help you implement a responsive and relevant Work-Life Strategy. The assessment may be done through an annual review. 
There are different ways to find out what your employees are grappling with in terms of managing work commitments alongside personal and family needs. Three common methods include workforce profiling, employee surveys and focus groups. You can use these methods to complement one another. 
 
1) Workforce Profiling 
Workforce profiling refers to mining information within your organisation, especially within your existing employee records. Workforce profiling helps you identify priority areas for implementing work-life programmes in your organisation. Tracked regularly, it can yield information about trends and changes in your workforce which may be used to adjust work-life programmes. To conduct Workforce Profiling, consider the following questions:
a. How many employees are
i. Near retirement?
ii. Young parents?
iii. Parents of more than one child?
iv. Single Parents?
v. Elderly parents? 
vi. Dependants with healthcare needs?
vii. Men or women?
viii. Married or single?
b. Which department in your organisation is it the most challenging to find and recruit employees for? What could be the reasons?
c. What are your employees’ prevalent health problems? What costs accompany these health problems?
d. What is your absenteeism rate?
e. How much medical leave does your workforce consume on average?
 
2) Employee Surveys 
Employee surveys reveal attitudinal information that you may use to gauge your employees’ sentiments. Tracked regularly, this can provide information about your employees’ sentiments that may signal deeper concerns in your workplace, not readily manifested. Some areas to survey may include:
 
a. Issues related to job scope and responsibilities – this may reveal concerns your employees are having about work and stress. This may help you identify work flexibility options. 
b. Personal commitments and aspirations, e.g. the number of dependents, plans to attain higher education, etc. Knowing your employees’ personal commitments and aspirations can help you decide on which work-life programmes to prioritize in a way that supports their personal aspirations and your business goals as well.
c. A list of existing / upcoming work-life programmes – You may not be aware of work-life programmes which are already in place and which only need to be revisited. Keeping an active list of existing or upcoming work-life programmes will provide you with information about which programmes are or will be popular among your workforce. 
d. Job satisfaction / motivation / engagement / work-life levels. Knowing the level of your employees’ job satisfaction, motivation, engagement and work-life will help you identify which work-life strategy is best to implement and up to what extent. 
 
3) Focus Groups
Focus groups provide more open-ended responses than surveys. It allows you to delve more deeply into a topic to understand different qualitative views from your employees. Focus Groups are interviews with several people (generally 6 – 10) at the same time. It involves an organized discussion with a selected group of individuals to gain deeper information about their views and experiences on a topic, e.g. a particular work-life programme. In conducting focus groups discussions, your moderator plays a very important role. He or she should have good leadership and interpersonal skills to engage everyone in the discussion and to get useful information.
 

 

Step 3: Implement work‐life programmes

There are three ways you can implement work-life programmes in your organisation:
 
1) Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs)
 
FWAs are work arrangements where employers and employees agree to a variation from the usual work arrangement. Find out more about the types of FWAs you can implement in your organisation. You will find that Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) may not work for all your employees. An effective FWA takes into account the nature of your employee’s job and his/her personality. If either or both are unsuitable for the arrangement, then implementing the FWA would be counter-productive. Typically, your immediate supervisors are in the best position to determine the suitability of an FWA for a particular employee.
 
Your organisation can often reap benefits from a well-implemented FWA, saving on costs and ramping up efficiency and productivity. Just before you embark on any FWA, it would be useful to have your employees conduct a self-assessment and consider the pros and cons of their request. They must also consider which FWAs are appropriate given the requirements and/or limitations of their specific job duties and responsibilities. You may refer to the example of a self-assessment questionnaire by World At Work.
 
 
2) Leave Benefits
 
Over and above leave that is mandated by the government, you can also opt to offer Leave benefits (e.g. compassionate leave, parent-care leave) which may be paid or unpaid. Learn more about the various leave benefits you can provide your staff.
 
3) Employee Support Schemes
 
Implementing Employee Support Schemes (ESS) helps your employees manage the non-work aspects of their lives, especially time management. These programmes may involve the innovative use of resources already existing in your organisation such as simple gestures of appreciation for your employees and their family, dependent care support, health and wellness programmes, flexible benefits and time-saving services. Learn more about ESS.
Remember that implementing such schemes need not be costly. For example, if your company already provides a service as part of your business, extend it to your employees at marginal cost, e.g. transportation, laundry, childcare, etc. This can make a big difference to your employees and in return, you reap the benefit of increased employee engagement.
 
Develop a communication plan
 
The success of work-life programmes relies on the proper communication of these programmes to your employees. In order to use these programmes, your staff need to know that they are available. Studies have also shown that awareness of work-life programmes is as important as their use when it comes to improving your employee engagement and decreasing turnover. 
You may employ a variety of communication channels when communicating work-life programmes to your employees. Some common modes of communication include town hall / team meetings, emails, intranet, message boards, memos, department lunches, etc.
In addition to building awareness about work-life programmes, your communication channels can also contribute to:
 
  • Sustaining a work-life culture, e.g. posters and placards of your organisation’s work-life values could adorn corridors, pantries and meeting rooms
  • Transmitting work-life corporate values, e.g. handbooks on corporate values and your organisation’s work-life programmes could be given to all new hires 
  • Improving and invigorating your organisation’s Work-life Strategy, e.g. feedback channel could be used in regularly evaluating your existing work-life programmes or to monitor your employees’ changing work-life needs


Some considerations for an effective communication plan

As you plan ways to communicate with your employees, consider the following guidelines to make your communication more effective:
 
  • Define your objectives. Objectives can either be short-term, (e.g. introducing a specific work-life programme) or long-term, (e.g. developing a culture of flexibility). 
  • Identify your target audience. Does your target audience include segments that might resist your new initiative? If yes, then you should be prepared with creative and effective ways to handle their concerns. These are some of the ways you can prepare to address your target audience:
    • Customise your strategy for buy-in. Be prepared to respond with a proposition that will make your employees buy in to the idea or initiative you are proposing. 
    • Identify your key message for each segment of your target audience. Remember that each segment of your target audience will have different needs and values. Addressing them as a whole instead of preparing messages for key segments may not only result in poor buy-in, it may also trigger undesired reactions.
    • Anticipate your audience’s concerns. Think ahead and be prepared to address the questions or objections which they may have.
    • Prime your audience on your new initiative. Creatively build excitement and communicate the benefits of your new initiative ahead of the assembly or meeting. This way, you would already have achieved a buy-in even before you officially communicate the initiative.
    • Educate and train your middle managers. Your middle managers or supervisors are your allies in communicating the merits of your initiatives down the line. 
    • Explain the benefits of your new initiative. Remember that your employees would want to know how your new initiative will make their lives better. 
  • Select channels for communicating and promoting your new initiative. 
  • Build in a feedback mechanism so that it is possible to evaluate your communication plan. 
  • Measure the effectiveness of your communication plan.​​
 
Putting In Place A Visible Senior Management Support
 
A show of support from your senior management for the Work-life Strategy is crucial especially at its infancy. Your supervisors and employees of all levels will feel more comfortable to support and participate in, and use the work-life programmes if they see Senior Management believing in it as well. Done this way, you will see that your objective for setting up the Work-Life Strategy will be better achieved.
 
Establishing Clear Policies and Guidelines
 
Work-life programmes need to be supported by clear policies and guidelines. Policies and guidelines address the values, eligibility criteria and operational details of your Work-Life programmes. As a rough guide, policies and guidelines for work-life programmes should:
 
  • Stress mutual benefits of the Work-Life programme to both your organisation and your employees
  • Encourage an approach of mutual trust and accountability to develop and implement work-life programmes
  • Value your employees for their contribution to the business and not for their choice of work arrangement
  • Include an objective, outcome-based monitoring and evaluation mechanism

 

Step 4: Evaluate work‐life programmes

Measuring the effectiveness of your work-life programmes allows you to determine whether they have met their objectives. Identifying a successful work-life programme can help build your business case, while discovering a work-life programme that did not meet its objectives would allow you to improve on it.
 
To evaluate the effectiveness of your work-life programme, you can use the following data:
 
Quantitative
 
Examples of Quantitative Data that you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your Work-Life Programme include:
  • Utilisation rate of your work-life programmes 
  • Absenteeism
  • Measure of your employee job satisfaction, engagement, etc.
  • Voluntary turnover rate
 
Qualitative
 
You can also use Qualitative Data to evaluate your Work-Life Strategies:
  • Feedback from your employees about how the work-life programme is meeting their needs 
  • Feedback from your supervisors on the difficulties they face when implementing the work-life programmes
  • Exit interviews from your resigning, retiring, retrenched or dismissed employees
 

FWAs are work arrangements where employers and employees agree to a variation from the usual work arrangement. Here are some ways you can implement Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) in your organisation:

Compressed Work Schedule

Definition
 

A Compressed Work schedule is an arrangement which allows employees to work full-time hours (e.g. 40 hours in a week) in fewer than the normal number of days per time period. For example, you can assign your employee to work four days a week instead of five days, increasing the number of hours he or she will work during the four days so that it satisfies your requirement of 40 hours in a week. You can adopt and implement a Compressed Work Schedule to give your employees more days outside the office to take care of their personal and family needs.
 
Do remember: When designing your schedules for Compressed Work Schedule, there are statutory guidelines governing the hours worked and periods of rest required for employees as stated by the Employment Act. Please refer to the Ministry of Manpower’s website for specific details.
 
The various types of schedules used for compressed work schedule:
 
  • 4/40 Schedule
This is one of the most common schedules for employees who are not covered under Part IV of the Employment Act. Under the 4/40 schedule, your employees work four 10-hour days and have the 5th day off. To ensure better coverage of responsibilities, you may request that your employees take two half days off instead of an entire day. This is illustrated in examples A & B.
 
Under normal circumstances, your employees who are covered under Part IV of the Employment Act may not work more than 9 hours per day. You could consider a 4.5 day workweek instead in which your employee works four 9-hour days and 4 hours on the 5th day, as illustrated in example C below.
 


 

  • 9/80 Schedule

In this schedule, you may arrange for your employees, who are not covered under Part IV of the Employment Act, to work a permutation of 80 hours in nine days. In most cases, your employees will work eight 9-hour and one 8-hour day and have the 10th day off. 


 

  • 12-hour Shift Schedule under a 3-week cycle
If your organisation requires your employees to work on weekends, Compressed Work may mean a 12-hour shift schedule on a 3-week cycle. For employees covered under the Employment Act, you must obtain their agreement to work a 12-hour shift during the hiring phase. Under the 3-week cycle above, your employee would work 48 hours on Week 1, 36 hours on Week 2 and 48 hours on Week 3. This works out to an average of 44 hours per week. 
 
If you are introducing a 12-hour shift for the first time for employees covered under the Employment Act, you must clearly explain to your employees how the schedule is to be applied; and you must seek their agreement before your employees are placed on the 12-hour shift schedule. 
 


 

  • 5-4/9 Schedule

In this schedule, your employees work a week of five 9-hour days followed by a week of four 9-hour days. This allows your employees a day off every other week.

 
Benefits to Employers 
 
The Compressed Work schedule has several benefits to you as an employer, including:
  • Reduced cost of office space. As groups of employees are scheduled to have days off at different times throughout the week, smaller work spaces are required, e.g. hot desking may allow a team of 200 employees to operate with a workspace of 160 desks.
  • Reduced absenteeism. More scheduled days off to attend to personal and family needs reduces the number of urgent and unplanned leave required. 
  • Cut down operations cost during off-peak days. With the compressed work schedule, you can identify days when your employees may have a rest day during off-peak or low-demand days.
  • May help reduce overtime payments. Operational hours can be extended according to business needs and in line with Part IV of the Employment Act (for applicable employees) without incurring additional overtime payment.
  • Employee retention. The Compressed Work schedule is attractive to employees who are allowed the time to attend to personal commitments with more days off. 
 
Benefits to Employees 
 
Compressed Work schedule also benefits your employees in the following ways:
  • Your employees have greater flexibility to manage work and personal time 
  • Your employees get to save travelling time and cost to and from work outside peak hours
  • Your employees enjoy regular full-day/half-days off while preserving their full-time salary
  • They may have a longer weekend to enjoy with the family

 

Creative Scheduling

Definition

Creative Scheduling is a work schedule or roster which is different from what your industry follows as a norm. You may implement Creative Scheduling to accommodate your employees’ existing personal and family needs and/or to attract potential employees with life stage needs that do not fit into your traditional work schedule or the roster practised in your industry.

 

For example, if your organisation is in an industry which implements a 12-hour shift roster, you may find it easier to recruit and retain employees when you introduce the option of three 8-hour shifts shared between three employees instead.  

 

Employees’ Choice of Days Off

Definition

As an employer, you may also allow your employees to plan their own work schedules and determine their days off. To ensure that your daily operations are not affected, your supervisor in-charge might allow employees to ballot for their days off.

 

Employees’ Choice of Days Off is particularly relevant for certain industries (e.g. retail, contact centres, etc.) in which staff are required to work on weekends, and are able to choose their day off on a weekday. 

 

Flexible Hours Definition

Flexible hours is an arrangement where you contract with your employees to work a certain number of hours over an accounting period, e.g. a 20-hour workweek. They can work at any time of the day as long as they complete the 20 hours within the workweek.

This is more common in jobs where the activities are not dependent on meeting colleagues/clients at specific times of the day.

 

Flexi-Shift

Definition

Flexi-Shift is an arrangement where your employees specify the days and/or hours when they can work, and are scheduled accordingly. For example, you may have employees who are the direct caregivers of their school-going children and they may opt to work specific hours in the day while the children are at school (3-4 hours in the morning or afternoon), or during weekends when there are other caregivers.

This Flexible Work Arrangement may overlap with Part-time work and/or Job sharing. For instance, you may have two or more bank tellers, cashiers, check-out counter staff who share one full-time responsibility throughout the workweek. 

 

Flexi-Time
 

Considerations

Implementation

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
Flexi-Time or Staggered Start and End Time is an arrangement which allows your employees to vary daily start and end times to support their work and personal commitments.
 
In this arrangement, you provide your employees at least a 2-hour window during which they have the flexibility to start and end their work (i.e. start between 8am and 10am and correspondingly leave the office between 5pm and 7pm). 
As a guide, you must allow a core time, say 10am till 4pm, during which your employees must work. In most cases, you would usually have an accounting period, usually a week or a month, within which your employees must work the full number of hours. You may also allow your employees to carry over excess or deficit hours to the next accounting period.
 
Benefits to Employers
 
By adopting Flexi-Time or Staggered Start and End Time, you can reap the following benefits:
  • A wider pool of expertise and talent to tap on
  • You can arrange for working hours to match the peaks and troughs of your business demands
  • With Flexi-Time, you create a longer window or opening hours to attract more customers
  • You also reduce absenteeism and eliminate punctuality problems
  • As an employer, you make your organisation attractive to skilled employees because they are allowed to take care of their personal commitments while still being effective at work.
 
Benefits to Employees

The benefits of Flexi-Time or Staggered Start and End Times for your employees include:

  • Increased flexibility to manage their work and personal commitments, e.g. dental appointment, sending child to school, etc.
  • Promotes equal opportunities for employees who cannot work standard office hours
  • Reduces travel time (avoid peak periods)
  • Reduces stress (and health care costs)
 
 
 
The first step to implementing flexi-time is to review the 4-step model comprising essential steps that an organisation should take to ensure an effective and sustainable programme.
 
 
For the Employee
 
A self-assessment may be useful for an employee to consider the various aspects involved in ensuring a successful flexi-time arrangement.
 
 
 
Likewise, there are multiple factors to take into account when developing a flexi-time policy. 
 
A sample Flexi-time Checklist of factors to consider is attached.
 
Outside the core times, at the beginning or end of each day, are flexible bands when employees may choose whether to be at work. For example:
 
 
The total period in which the organisation is in operation is called the bandwidth. Management needs to decide what happens at lunch breaks – start and end times and the maximum and minimum lunch period that can be taken. An employee’s hours of attendance are recorded and added up at the end of each settlement period.
 
Before implementing flexi-time, employers need to make decisions about the following:
 
  • The core times – usually late morning/mid-day for offices
  • The duration of core times – may be adjusted according to demand/peak periods
  • The duration of the flexible bands – should not be too different for all employees if there is a lack of supervisors
     
Employees should also be aware of flexibility limitations such as security issues that may require them to make a compromise on their preferred flexi-time schedule. 
 
If the barriers to flexi-time cannot be resolved, the organisation / employee may consider other types of flexible work arrangements.
 
 
 
Is the programme cost effective?
 
Flexi-time is usually relatively low cost to introduce, especially if the organisation has a time tracking system in place. There are no long term costs for the organisation as the only costs occurred as direct administrative costs such as: costs of tracking hours worked and costs of establishing the programme. These costs are usually absorbed by the organisation and not passed down to the employees. Some examples of time tracking systems include specialised IT infrastructure such as a customised time management system or a punch card reader (high cost), moderate cost third party web based tools and low cost methods such as sign in/out sheets which require more time to administer and process. It may also be useful to conduct a projected cost-benefit analysis to see if introducing the flexi-time programme is a cost effective initiative.
 
 
 
 
Implementation
 
 
Before embarking on the flexi-time arrangement, the organisation should determine if there is a need for a pilot study or a trial period. This is especially important if it plans to design 

a strategy for a significant number of employees.
 
For the pilot study, the organisation should consider the number of employees to be involved. At this stage, employees selected are often those with experience.
 
For the trial period / study, the organisation needs to determine the duration of the period.
 
 
 
In the final stages of implementing the flexi-time policy, the management should meet with the HR team to draft guidelines for flexi-time employees and their immediate supervisors. When doing so, the management should consider the non-negotiable elements such as maintaining productivity. It should also gather feedback from the concerns faced by employees to ensure that the guidelines clearly address those concerns.
A sample of flexi-time guidelines and procedures may be found here:
 
The following tips for managing flexible working hours may help:
 
  • Consider implementing a 'roster' system that indicates the days and times of work for all employees. This way everyone knows who is available when and can plan accordingly.
Ensure that all staff in a team are aware of any staff working non-core hours. This will assist the team in managing workloads and deadlines expected from each worker.
Develop and communicate simple guidelines for staff working irregular and non-core hours.
 
 
 
After introducing the flexi-time arrangement, the next step would be to evaluate the whole programme. Two key issues to consider throughout this process are whether the identified business aims / goals are satisfied, and whether the employee needs are satisfied. 
A flexi-time arrangement should be supported if there are no adverse effects to the way the organisation functions. When assessing the employee’s performance standards and productivity, performance feedback may be sought from the flexi-time employee’s immediate supervisor and co-workers (where appropriate), with the focus on whether performance and productivity are maintained – any increase should be regarded as a bonus rather than an essential criteria.
 
To assess the programme’s cost effectiveness, another cost-benefit analysis may be conducted. It is important to note that in the short run, costs incurred by the organisation may increase. However, these costs are often fixed (e.g. setting up infrastructure to track working hours). In the long run, the potential momentary and qualitative benefits will often be greater than these initial fixed costs.
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About ABB Industry Pte Ltd
 
ABB Singapore supplies power and automation technologies to partner utility and industry customers while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in about 100 countries and hires 800 employees in its Singapore office. ABB strives to attract and retain skilled people and offer employees an attractive, global work environment. Its turnover rate is lower than the industry average.
 
ABB Industry Pte Ltd won the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Telecommuting, Flexi Hours and Part Time
 
Full-time support and administrative employees can choose to start their day any time between 7.30 am and 9 am. ABB does not require a formal tracking system as it believes in fostering an atmosphere of trust and responsibility. Flexi-time is particularly appreciated by employees who live far away or who have to ferry children to childcare centres before work. A percentage of staff have also opted for part-time employment.
 
Leave Benefits
 
On top of the statutory leave guidelines, ABB offers its staff compassionate leave and unrecorded time-off for family/personal emergencies. It also offers childcare leave, marriage leave, paternity leave, study/exam leave and renewal leave.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Benefits. This allows employees freedom to select a plan that best suits their needs. It was birthed from focus group discussions with employees who expressed different needs according to their life stages. Employees can use their benefits to claim family medical reimbursement, childcare fees, internet subscriptions or IT products, amongst others.
 
Health Benefits. ABB organises annual health screenings, dental care, medical (including specialist consultation) and insurance coverage, as well as flu vaccinations to employees and/or their families. ABB also arranges regular health talks, sports activities, workouts, and implemented Fruits Day to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, the company shows thoughtfulness and care for staff by giving gifts for birthdays and new births.
 
Family Activities. ABB organises Family Day, Movie Night, tour excursions for families of staff and kids’ camps. Staff can also make use of corporate passes to enjoy local attractions.
 
To find out more about ABB, please visit: http://www.abb.com.sg
 
 
 
 
About Fernvale Primary School
 
Fernvale Primary School serves the Sengkang West Fernvale Estate. It emphasises quality broad-based education to provide holistic development for pupils. There are 61 employees working to ensure Fernvale’s success. The school is happy to report a large number of requests to join the school as staff members and a low rate of transfer requests. Fernvale Primary School was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Flexi Hours
Requests for starting and ending times can vary widely. For instance, a teacher with lessons till 4 pm, which is beyond the official dismissal time of 1.30 pm, can report an hour later than the official lesson start time of 8.00 am. Staff who have to bring children to childcare facilities can request for a later reporting time. The relief duty roster is scheduled to cover these periods, thus work-life balance is achieved without compromising the smooth operations of the school.
 
A Time-Off Scheme allows staff members with valid reasons to leave earlier or report later for work. This scheme also allows staff to attend to urgent personal matters that do not require them to apply for a full day’s leave. Senior school leaders approve time-off applications and there is no cap on the hours that can be applied within a year. The only condition is that staff have to make arrangements for their students to be meaningfully occupied during their absence. Thus far, childcare, family emergencies and medical appointments are the main reasons for time-off applications. This scheme can be utilised by anybody regardless of marital status or age as it is assessed based on individual needs. The success of this scheme was achieved with the support of the school leaders.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
Lactation Room. Fernvale provides a clean and comfortable lactation room equipped with comfortable chairs, a sink, a fridge for milk storage and a CD player. This is a good incentive for young mothers to return to work after their maternity leave.
 
 
Employee Quote
“As a young mother, work-life balance means spending more time with my family. The school has been very supportive of young mothers like me, and has been understanding of our needs when our children are unwell and we have to take childcare leave to care for them. The school implements a 5-day work week religiously and even provides a very comfortable and well-equipped lactation room.”
Mrs Melanie Lau, teacher
 
To find out more about Fernvale Primary School, please visit: http://fernvalepri.sg/
 
 
 
 
About Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources
 
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) maintains a clean and green living environment and works on initiatives for environmental sustainability. It also manages water as a strategic national resource. MEWR has put emphasis on work-life programmes for its 107 employees since 2006 and has witnessed a slowdown in resignations as well as a drop in absenteeism from 3 percent to 2.7 percent. Officers have also indicated a drop in their level of stress. Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award in both 2006 and 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Flexi Hours
 
Officers can choose to start work any time between 8am and 9.30am as long as they maintain 42 working hours per week. More than a quarter of officers have taken advantage of this scheme. On top of permanent flexi hours, staff can request for ad hoc temporary flexi hours, for example, to attend to family commitments or medical appointments.
 
Leave Benefits
Both married female and male officers enjoy full-pay unrecorded childcare leave up to 6 days to look after their children under 7 years old. To care for their children up to 12 years old who are on medical leave, they are entitled to a maximum of 15 days per year. Employees are heartened by the care shown by the management and are more motivated to contribute to an organisation that cares for them.
 
In addition to maternity leave, paternity leave and marriage leave, officers who pursue relevant courses, even those not sponsored by the Ministry, may be granted Study Leave to prepare and sit for examinations, up to 3 days per subject, capped at 12 days a year.
 
Employee Support Schemes
Family Activities. MEWR has pro-family facilities such as an on-site childcare centre - with priority for children of MEWR staff - and a lactation room. MEWR regularly organises family-friendly activities such as Coastal Cleanup and the annual Year End Function. Hampers are also sent to congratulate newly-wed staff and new mothers and fathers. MEWR is a member of SDU and thus its single employees benefit from the agency’s numerous activities.
 
To find out more about MEWR, please visit: http://www.mewr.gov.sg
 
 
 
About Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)
 
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today's economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skills-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for all workers - young and older, from rank and file to professionals and executives - to upgrade and advance in their careers and lives.
 
As the lead agency for workforce development, WDA places great emphasis on and engages in work-life initiatives through conducting regular staff profiling exercises and gathering of feedback among its 400 employees. Benefits are then packaged to cater to the unique needs of its staff profile. Healthy lifestyle initiatives such as sports day, regular runs and health-screening sessions have also resulted in reduction of medical leave taken from 4 percent in 2005 to 2.8 percent in 2006, and the agency was given the Singapore Health Award in 2006. WDA has been commended on its sustained programmes to heighten work-life balance and its established committee for staff welfare. It was presented with the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Flexi Hours and Telecommuting
 
WDA offers staggered working hours to its employees. This means that employees are given the option to commence work at half-hourly intervals from 7.30am to 9.30am. An officer who enters office at 7.30am can thus leave as early as 5pm on a typical working day. Divisional directors are empowered to approve their staff’s preferred working hours, which makes subscription to staggered working hours more flexible and easy.
 
Majority of its employees are also provided with laptops with remote access to facilitate telecommuting. A small percentage of those without laptops with remote access are also able to request for it on an ad hoc basis.
 
 
Leave Benefits
 
Eldercare Leave. Other than childcare, compassionate and marriage leave, WDA introduced the eldercare leave where employees are allowed to take leave to look after their parents or parents-in-law when they fall sick or to accompany them for medical appointments. WDA is one of the earlier statutory boards to introduce this scheme.
 
Birthday Leave. Employees are also granted 1 day of birthday leave. The birthday leave is to be taken on their birthday or within 1 week before or after their birthday. The birthday leave has been well-received and highly utilised by its employees.
 
To find out more about WDA, please visit: http://www.wda.gov.sg
 
 
 
 
About SP Consulting (International)
 
SP Consulting (International) Pte Ltd provides management consultancy and training services. Its 10 full-time staff help clients to improve their business effectiveness and competitive edge. It has portfolios in standards-based consultancy, specialised management consultancy and human capital and training. SP Consulting believes in practising what is in its training manuals, thus its work-life measures have resulted in 90 percent satisfaction among employees and an overall customer satisfaction rating of 82.2 percent. SP Consulting goes beyond conducting employee surveys to gathering feedback from families. Spouses of staff have responded with 90 percent rating for staff morale.
 
SP Consulting has been awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Telecommuting and Flexi Hours
 
Telecommuting is an important part of the SP Consulting work-life strategy. Consultants can work from home and use Key Performance Indicators to maintain their output. Administrative staff are also given the benefit of flexibility as they manage their own commencing and ending times according to their needs. SP Consulting’s success factor is the clear key performance measurements of revenue, delivery, customer feedback and constant communication with headquarters. Not only did the employees express satisfaction with the flexi arrangements; their spouses have also given positive feedback to SP Consulting. One quantifiable benefit the company reaps is the efficient use of office space, as telecommuting staff share work areas.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Company Resources. SP Consulting allows its staff to utilise certain company equipment like its photocopier, camera, laptop and scanner and even its Rainbow vacuum cleaner for the benefit of their families. The families have given enthusiastic feedback and the company was able to get optimal usage out of its equipment.
 
Study Awards. Since last year, SP Consulting started the practice of giving study awards to the children of their employees, from kindergarten to university. This promotes a greater sense of belonging and family members appreciate the well-wishes of the company.
 
Company events. SP Consulting regularly organises annual retreats, festival celebrations, outings, company lunches and corporate social service activities. Families are invited for some of these gatherings. The company also supports national family friendly programmes like Eat with Your Family Day and First Day of School Leave.
 
To find out more about SP Consulting, please visit: http://www.spgp.com

 

Interim Work Definition

Another Flexible Work Arrangement you can opt is Interim Work. Under this arrangement, you can hire an employee on a part-time or full-time basis for a specific period of time, or to complete a specific project. Your interim workers cut across all levels from senior management to rank-and-file employees. Seasonal Work and Project-Based Work are also some examples of Interim Work.

 

Job Sharing

Considerations

Implementation

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
Job sharing is a Flexible Work Arrangement where you allow two or more people to share the responsibilities of one full-time position. They usually work at different times during the day/week or alternate weeks, and may also overlap for proper handover to maintain work continuity. You may divide the work by function, geography, time or workload, etc. depending on the arrangement.
 
Under this arrangement, the pay, holidays and other benefits are usually proportionate to the number of hours each of your co-sharing employees worked. Job-sharing gives you the equivalent of one full-time employee while giving the job-sharing employees the ability to keep their careers on track while they have more time to meet their family responsibilities or other activities.
 
Find out which of these three basic job sharing arrangements will work best for you:
 
  • Shared Responsibility
     
In a shared responsibility arrangement, two of your employees jointly share the responsibilities of one full-time job. They perform the full range of tasks associated with the single position they fill. They are interchangeable in their areas of work. This is most suited where their work is on-going as opposed to project-based.
 
  • Divided Responsibility

    In a divided responsibility arrangement, your two employees share one full-time position and divide responsibilities, usually by project or client group. They perform separate tasks and provide back up for each other when necessary. You may choose divided responsibility for work that can be divided according to project or client group.
 
 
  • Unrelated Responsibility
     
An unrelated responsibility situation is when two of your employees perform completely different tasks. But for headcount purposes, they are counted as one position. They generally work in the same division/department. Each employee does not cover the job duties of the other, and are, in essence, two part-time jobs. 
 
 
 
Remember, even within each form of job sharing arrangement, the scope of duties which your employees perform will be different. On one hand, you have job-sharing employees who have no interactions about their duties. On the other hand, you have those who are jointly responsible for all their combined duties. Finally, note that there are job sharing duties which fall between these two extremes; in this case, your employees have their own individual duties as well as shared duties which their counterparts are well aware of. As the employer, make sure the coverage of these duties is clearly communicated.
 
 
 
Some common job-sharing work patterns using a 5-day workweek include:
 
  • Split days, e.g. mornings or afternoons
  • Split weeks, e.g. 2.5 consecutive days each
  • Alternating split weeks, e.g. 2 days on Weeks 1 & 3, and 3 days on Weeks 2 & 4
  • Alternate weeks, e.g. 5 consecutive days followed by the next week off
 
 
Benefits to Employers
 
Job sharing benefits your organisation in many ways, including:
 
  • Tapping a wider pool of expertise & higher level of skills for an ideal post
  • Increase in productivity (because your co-sharing employees have less stress)
  • Retention of valued employees who may be seeking early retirement. By offering them job-sharing arrangements, they can make an easier transition from full-time work to part-time job-sharing work to retirement. Job-sharing allows your valued employees to share knowledge with the other employee while on the job.
  • A low cost and easy-to-maintain recruitment edge. Because of the many options you make available for interested individuals to work for you, you can potentially attract more qualified individuals who may fit into the different co-sharing patterns and schedules in your organisation. 
  • Improved coverage /continuity compared to other Flexible Work Arrangements
 
 
Benefits to Employees
 
Your job-sharing employees get these benefits:
 
  • Reduced stress when the workload is heavy
  • Flexible option for back-to-work employees
    • You may have employees who went for a career break and would like an easy re-entry into your workplace. 
    • Women returning from maternity leave may also find job-sharing ideal.
  • Greater flexibility to cope with other commitments, e.g. caring for elderly parents. A valued employee can continue to work in a company that can accommodate the pulls of family life. 
  • Bridge the gap between steady job and retirement. Your aging workforce can have an easier transition from full time career to retirement by sharing the job instead of abruptly stopping work.

 


For the employee

 
A self-assessment may be useful for employees to consider the various aspects involved in ensuring a successful job sharing arrangement.  A sample list of issues to consider when entering a job sharing arrangement may be found here:
 
 

 
 
The organisation’s HR team will have to decide on an ideal strategy based on the combination of both business goals and employee needs, i.e. Shared Responsibility or Divided Responsibility.
 
Example 1 – Shared Responsibility
 
Employee A Employee B

Personal Assistant to Director
High level job grade
Many years of experience in the job position
Oversees and trains new Personal Assistants

Personal Assistant to Manager X
Junior level job grade
Fresh graduate with (1 year of experience)
 
Under the Job Sharing arrangement, both Employees A & B would be Personal Assistants to the Director. Employee A would work on Tuesday and Thursday while Employee B would work on Wednesday and Friday. To ensure a seamless transition and co-ordination of tasks, there would be an overlap on Monday when both employees come in to work to sort out the Director’s schedule and activities for the week ahead. 
 
In the initial week(s), Employee A would oversee and train Employee B in her new role; while Employee B would train her replacement as the Personal Assistant to Manager X (i.e. previous post). 
 
Example 2 – Divided Responsibility
 
Employee A Employee B

Experienced Account Manager for S.E.A.

Sales
Supervise salesmen dealing with S.E.A. clients
Senior job grade
Experienced Account Manager for Singapore
 
Sales
Supervise salesmen dealing with Singapore clients
Senior job grade
 
Unlike Example 1 above where both jobs are on-going, Employees C and D’s jobs are client-focused. Therefore a strategy based on divided responsibility may be more appropriate for this instance.
 
Under the job sharing arrangement, both Employees C & D would be Account Managers for S.E.A. Sales. Employee C would supervise salesmen dealing with Malaysian and Indonesian clients and work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Weeks 1 & 3, and on Tuesday and Thursday on Weeks 2 & 4. Employee D would supervise salesmen dealing with Thai and Vietnamese clients and work on Tuesday and Thursday on Weeks 1 & 3, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Weeks 2 & 4. 
 
In the initial Week(s), Employee C would perform a handover of the Thai and Vietnamese portfolio while Employee D would train his replacement Account Manager for Singapore Sales (i.e. previous post).
 
Although Employees C & D work quite independently in this example, they would still meet periodically (e.g. after their department meetings or individual meetings with supervisor, etc.) to discuss client needs and ensure that both groups of clients are receiving the same high quality of service.
 
Attached is a sample checklist on issues to consider before implementing Job Sharing.
 
 
As the number of hours worked may lead the employees to fall into the part-time work category, it is very important for the senior management to be aware of the legal requirements and regulations set forth for part-time employment by the government, before embarking on the prospective arrangements with employees.
 
Please refer to the Ministry of Manpower’s website for more details on employment regulations: 
 
If the barriers to job sharing cannot be resolved, the organisation / employee may consider other types of flexible work arrangements.
 
 
Communication

 
The practice of job sharing is fairly new in Singapore, and organisations who adopt this practice may choose to draft informational handouts to inform employees of job share opportunities.  Employers should include the objective
s, eligibility criteria and desired outcomes of the job share arrangement.
 
Regular communication is essential to ensure the working dynamics between employees on the job sharing arrangement and their co-workers is positive.  Therefore, department meetings should be scheduled on days where the employees overlap, where applicable.  It is also important that job sharing teams on a shared responsibility strategy communicate frequently with each other.
 
A job sharer must also be able to communicate in a timely manner with clients of fellow job sharers when on duty.  This is essential as clients should not be expected to change their schedules to suit the job sharer’s, and would also be expecting the same level of service from any employee who communicates with them.
 
 
 
  • Individual traits
    • Good communication skills
    • Agreeable personality
    • Strong team player
    • Loyalty to the company
    • Values job
 
  • Job sharing team traits
    • Similar positive personality traits, e.g. both are agreeable, responsible, etc.
    • Able to work both independently and in a group
    • Complementary abilities and knowledge of product / service
    • Complementary and consistent working habits / styles
    • Similar or compatible grade level (i.e. experience, seniority, etc.)
 
 
After selecting a prospective job share team, the organisation should get clear expectations for the new job share position by providing job descriptions and guidelines.
 
When two job sharers at the same grade level are jointly responsible for all the duties and responsibilities of one full-time position
 
  • There is no need to restructure position
  • Each team member should have a copy of the original position description with an attached statement to show that the incumbent is a job sharer jointly responsible for carrying out all the duties and responsibilities of the position
 
When the job sharers are individually responsible for portions of the job, or when the job sharers are at different grade levels:
 
  • Separate position descriptions are required to reflect actual duties and responsibilities of each employee
  • Each job sharer must have a position description that accurately reflects his or her duties and responsibilities
 
 
A job share team should report to the same supervisor and if the new job scope is similar to their previous job scope, they should report to their previous supervisor who may have better understanding of the needs of the team. 
 
Supervisors play an important role in the dynamics in each job share team as well as their co-workers. Therefore, the organisation should also look into training in work-life effectiveness for the supervisors of job sharing employees. 
 

The management should also discuss how vacations, absenteeism and sick leaves may be covered. Points to consider:
  • To what extent would the above be covered by another co-worker in the same department
  • To what extent would the above be covered by the fellow job sharer
  • Determine the pay he/she (job sharer) receives for working on an off day
 
A possible solution especially in the case of absences not due to sickness (e.g. unpaid leave) would be getting a fellow job sharer to switch work days with the employee on leave.
 
 
To ensure the performance is not compromised, the organisation can also set performance standards for each job sharing team and reward job sharers individually / as a team where appropriate. For example:
 
  • Individual Evaluation
    • Specific role, e.g. training fellow job sharer
 
  • Joint Evaluation
  • For shared tasks and responsibilities to promote teamwork
 
It is important that supervisors use the same evaluation standards for each employee to avoid biasness in their evaluation. 
 
 
In organisations where there is sufficient office space and equipment available, job sharers should be given individual job stations and equipment, especially in instances of heavy client load or access to confidential / sensitive information. This will help increase efficiency and reduce time spent searching for client files in a shared work space. 
 
However, if this is not possible where space is an issue, the management should set strict guidelines for job sharers to respect shared space and equipment to maintain a positive team environment. It can also consider allowing telecommuting to reduce the need for a physical office station.
 
Implementation
 
 
Before embarking on the job sharing arrangement, the organisation should determine if there is a need for a pilot study or a trial period. This is especially important if it plans to design a strategy for a significant number of employees.
 
For the pilot study, the organisation should consider the number of employees to be involved. At this stage, employees selected are often those with experience.
 
For the trial period / pilot study, the organisation needs to determine the duration of the period.
 
 
 
 
In the final stages of implementing the job sharing arrangement, the management should meet with the HR team to draft guidelines for job sharers and their supervisors. When doing so, the management should consider the non-negotiable elements such as maintaining productivity. It should also gather feedback from the concerns faced by employees to ensure that guidelines clearly address those concerns.
 
Once all the factors have been considered and any issues or concerns addressed, an agreement between the employee and the organisation which clearly outlines the work schedule, equipment used, and any other relevant details of the job sharing arrangement, should be drafted. This is to ensure a mutual understanding of roles and expectations.
 
 
 
After implementing the job sharing arrangement, the next step would be to evaluate the whole programme.  Two key issues to consider throughout this process are whether the identified business aims / goals satisfied, and whether the employee needs are satisfied.  
A job sharing arrangement should be supported if there are no adverse effects to the way the organisation functions.  When assessing the employee’s performance standards and productivity, performance feedback may be sought from the job sharer’s immediate supervisor and co-workers (where appropriate), with the focus on whether performance and productivity are maintained – any increase should be regarded as a bonus rather than an essential criteria.   
 
To assess the programme’s cost effectiveness, another cost-benefit analysis may be done.  It is important to note that in the short run, costs incurred by the organisation may increase as two employees are hired for one position.  However, in the long run, benefits gained are often greater than the costs incurred, many of which are qualitative rather than quantitative.  Organisations benefit through retaining its valued employees and hence reducing the cost of training a new employee for the position.
 
Furthermore, business needs may not always be solely or primary about saving costs. Although having two skilled and experienced employees for one post may increase cost, they will also be able to give more views and better ideas due to their expertise in the particular field. This is especially important to some major clients who may even be willing to pay more for this expertise. It also gives the organisation an increased edge against competitors.
 
 
Success Stories
 
About Banyan Tree Holdings Limited
 
Banyan Tree Holdings Limited develops and manages 23 premium resorts and hotels, 65 spas, 65 retail galleries and 2 golf courses. Banyan Tree employs 310 staff. The company utilises its resources to offer its staff Vacation Rejuvenation Benefits. More than half of the staff have taken up this benefit and have given good feedback. Banyan Tree has shown consistently low turnover, with a high employee commitment level of 81.6 percent of the staff.    
 
Banyan Tree won the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Flexi-Time, Part-Time, Job Sharing and Telecommuting
 
Banyan Tree has a mix of flexible work arrangements which includes flexi-hours, telecommuting, part-time and job sharing. Teams are empowered to schedule their team roster so as to benefit from flexi-time while maintaining smooth operations of the company’s properties and services. The company does not practise formal tracking of employees’ company time and prefers, instead, to trust and empower them.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Honeymoon Benefit. When confirmed Banyan Tree staff get married, they receive the perk of a complimentary 3-night stay at any of the company’s properties. In addition, the couple is given a cash gift of US$500.
 
Complimentary Hotel Stay. Each employee is awarded a US$2,000 to US$5,000 worth of hotel stays every year on Banyan Tree properties. This benefit promotes family bonding; it can be accumulated over two years so that the employee and his or her family can enjoy an extended vacation.
 
 
Employee Quote
 
“A winning organisation addresses the work-life needs of its employees, and in doing so, realises the benefit of efficiency and productivity via an empowered and enabled workforce.”
Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President
 
To find out more about Banyan Tree, please visit: http://www.banyantree.com
 
 

About Citi Institutional Clients Group
 
The Citi franchise in Singapore includes the Global Consumer Bank, the Institutional Clients Group, International Personal Bank, Citi Private Bank, Citi Smith Barney and Citi Alternative Investments. Citi has 200 million customer accounts and a presence in 100 countries. It has been named ‘Best Bank in Asia’ in the past. Citi Work Life Excellence Mission stresses training and professional development opportunities for staff. 
 
HR policies are crafted to enable staff to achieve their professional and personal goals.
 
With its Flexible Work Strategies, Citi experienced 4 percent reduction in staff turnover since 2005. At the same time, revenue increased more than 40 percent with the same staff strength.
 
Citi was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements - Flexible Work Strategies
 
Citi has a package called Flexible Work Strategies (FWS). FWS includes flexi hours, remote work, permanent part time and compressed work week arrangements as well as job sharing.
 
60 percent of staff opted for flexi hours. Employees can start work as early as 7.30 am or at 9.30 am. In the category of remote work, or telecommuting, seven of the permanent staff work from home at least one day a week. For example, Citi allowed one employee to watch over her ailing parent-in-law and 3 children; without this flexible arrangement, she might have to resign Citi where she has worked for 17 years. All employees remain contactable via email or phone. Of the seven, two have been promoted for their performance.
 
One employee has been on permanent part time arrangement for more than two years; Citi managed to retain her with this flexible option. The company also offers compressed work week options which two employees took up but they have resumed regular hours. 99 percent of staff have voted FWS an important tool for employee satisfaction. FWS has also helped retain high performing employees as well as attract new talents.  
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Medical Benefit Programme. This programme allows employees to choose the coverage that best meets their individual and family needs. Employees can make changes to their scheme on an annual basis as the needs of their family changes.
 
Chinese New Year shopping vouchers. To celebrate the festival, the bank presents shopping vouchers to all its employees. Citi management believes it is the only bank that has this practice.
 
Wellness Programme. Health screening, fitness assessments and weight management programmes are just a part of the initiative; a trained nutritionist and fitness instructor assist employees with personalised regimes. Citi also offers evening workshops in yoga, pilates, and dance. Health talks are conducted at lunch time on breast cancer, cardiac care and Food Pyramid. Fresh fruits are given to employees monthly. Besides these, the company also organises large scale events like dragon boat competition, the Citi race and Citi Sports Day.
 
Family Benefits. 2 lactation rooms have been set up in two buildings and have been used by 20 new mothers to date. The bank made arrangements with 5 childcare centres to provide discounts for staff’s children. Citi supports the Singapore campaign in getting employees to go home on time for Eat with The Family Day. The bank has a designated day for parents to bring their children aged 5 to 14 to the office where the children are treated to a kids’ Christmas party. 
 
For parents with school-going children, Citi arranges for teachers from a renowned school to conduct lunchtime Mathematics classes so that they can coach their children. Besides these, Citi organises Family Day, Party Nights and Bring Your Partner to Dinner where employees are invited to bring their partner for a dinner cum theatre performance. There are also regular talks on parenting and family issues.
 
Assistance for Expatriates. Citi helps its foreign workers on matters such as Central Provident Fund (CPF) and orientation to Singapore lifestyle.
 
To find out more about Citi Group, please visit: http://www.citi.com
 
 
 
About Ministry of Manpower
 
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) takes on the national manpower planning, development and management functions in Singapore and strives to achieve a globally competitive workforce and great workplace, for a cohesive society and secure economic future for all Singaporeans.
 
In line with its vision to be “A Great Workforce. A Great Workplace”, MOM is committed to creating a supportive and progressive workplace that enables staff to manage their work and personal needs. There is continuous effort to review existing HR policies and practices to make them relevant and pro-family. In a 2008 Organisation Climate Survey, MOM scored above public sector norms and improved its scores from the previous year in areas like performance management and feedback, employees’ engagement, learning & development and the leadership & climate of the Ministry.
 
MOM won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Part Time and Job Sharing. Under the Flexi@MOM Programme, job sharing is implemented as a part time option. Interested staff can apply and MOM will evaluate the requests and adjust the work-load distribution upon approval. Remuneration and benefits are pro-rated according to the number of hours worked. This option was first explored for tasks which could be shared by 2 part-time staff. The take-up rate is limited as the pairs must be handling the same portfolio and there must not be too much handing over of tasks.
 
MOM’s had facilitated several models of job-share. One example is a pair of part-time staff splitting a work week, with one employee working Mondays to Wednesdays and the other covering the rest of the week. In another example, two customer service officers share the counter customer service duties in a work week. In both cases, the job scope does not require much handing over. However, if one person holds an assignment, he or she is expected to complete it. Rostering and monitoring of duties is handled by their supervisors.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Staff Welfare and Well-Being (SWW). MOM’s Staff Welfare and Well-being Committee (SWW), run by volunteer staff , develops and runs programmes that cater to MOMers at all life stages by focusing on 5 key areas, namely childcare and parenting; community and environment outreach; social development; safety and health; and staff welfare and recreation, making working in MOM a holistic experience. It also provides an excellent platform for staff networking and bonding!
 
To find out more about MOM, please visit: http://www.mom.gov.sg
 
 
 
About Tampines Primary School
 
Tampines Primary School has 68 full-time staff and 20 contract staff. In a 2007 School Climate Survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, results showed that the school performed better than the national average in employees’ satisfaction with their jobs, the school culture and environment and the support they received from the management. In a separate External Validation (EV) process conducted by a team that included principals and heads of departments from other schools, it was reported that the Tampines staff are “generally happy and willing to contribute towards the goals of the school”. Within the school, work reviews are conducted thrice a year.
 
Tampines Primary School was presented with the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements - Shared Workload and Part Time
 
Tampines Primary School now starts its day later at 8.00 am. Twice a week, activities end at 6 pm; on two other days they end earlier at 4 pm and one day end at 1.30 p.m for staff. This ensures that the staff can leave punctually for home.
 
Shared workload. The teachers’ workload is shared by 10 good and dedicated adjunct teachers. Tampines Primary has reduced teaching periods to 32 periods as compared with 38 periods in the past. This allows teachers more time to prepare lessons, follow up on pupils and pursue professional development (whereby they are provided time for sharing, carrying out lesson study and learning from one another).
 
Part time and Flexi hours. Two teachers are under the part-time teaching scheme. They report for work later on certain days and leave earlier on other days. Administrative staff benefit from the school’s flexi hours scheme.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
The school drafts a Strategic Learning Direction (SLD) map at the beginning of the school term to stimulate the training and development of staff. Every Monday afternoon is set apart for such training. Department meetings are also scheduled within curriculum hours so that staff need not stay back after hours.
 
Mentoring. Contract and new teachers and teacher trainees are assigned mentors and buddies among the senior teachers to facilitate their induction into Tampines Primary school.
 
Feedback Channel. To facilitate communication of work-life needs, there is an e-forum, “Ask Exco”, where staff can ask the management questions online.
 
To find out more about Tampines Primary, please visit: http://www.tampinespri.net

 

Part-time Work

Considerations

Implementation

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
Part-Time Work is an arrangement which allows your employees to work lesser hours on a regular basis. Part-time employees normally work less than 35 hours a week and include those who work less than a full day all week or only some days per week.
 
Some organisations employ part-time employees to provide coverage of duties during peak periods or when work needs to be done only at particular times. Increasingly, employers are offering opportunities to women to return to work on a part-time basis after maternity leave or in the lead up to retirement.
 
Your part-time employees exclude temporary staff who work the normal hours, casual workers who work ‘on and off’, as well as employees on a compressed workweek or flexi-time schedule. 
 
Here are four common types of  Part-Time work arrangements:
 
  • Work shorter days
 
You may arrange for your employees to continue to work a full workweek, but work shorter days, e.g. half day.
 
You and your employees have to come to an agreement on whether the new hours will be based on the organisation’s peak hours, your employee’s selected hours, or a combination of both, etc. In addition, you and your employee should decide if the start and end times of each work day will be the same or if they will differ based on your business needs.
 
Due to the shorter working hours, your part-time employees may sometimes have shorter lunch breaks. In other cases, your employees may have revised rest hours and work during lunch breaks to ensure a continuation of operations. You must make sure that the shorter work days arrangement is one that will best support your employees’ productivity and meet your business needs.
 
  • Work fewer days weekly
 
Under this arrangement, your employees work fewer days per week than a full-time staff, although they cover the same work hours on each day (as a full-time staff).
 
If there is only one part-time employee, he or she would usually work on peak days where the volume of work is higher. In cases where you have two or more part-time employees, you can pair employees up so that both employees can work alternate days.
 
 
To avoid misunderstanding, you should clarify issues related to specific day(s) of work, e.g. public holidays. In most practices, specific benefits are often only related to days of work, i.e. if a public holiday falls on a day the employee does not work, he or she is not awarded a day off. Likewise, if it falls on a day of work, he or she is entitled to the public holiday.
 
  • Work during weekends (to cover high-volume periods)
 
You may arrange work during weekends if your company functions seven days a week or if you have peak periods during weekends, e.g. food and beverage outlets, retail outlets, etc.
 
The main concern for both you and your employee is usually remuneration:
A) Weekends = Higher hourly wage
B) Weekends = Same hourly wage
 
When deciding between A and B, you also have to consider issues such as the needs of the employees versus the need for manpower during weekends. Justify your decision based on organisational needs.
 
  • Combination
     
You can also adopt a combination of the above approaches to suit your needs and the needs of your employees.
 
Benefits to Employers 
 
Working fewer days gives you benefits such as:
 
  • A wider pool of expertise and talent to tap on – including women and mature employees
  • Retain valued employees who may think of quitting after maternity leave or seek early retirement
  • Flexibility for your management to match staff hours with workflow requirements
  • Reduce hiring costs (in most cases)
  • Reduce costs of office space (in some cases) 
  • Reduce absenteeism when your employees can combine part-time work with personal responsibilities 
 
Benefits to Employees 
 
With fewer work days your employees can:
 
  • Have more time for  personal commitments and still grow professionally
  • Transition from a regular full-time job to part-time job and finally to retirement (for mature and working individuals) 
  • Ease back into the workforce after maternity leave (for working mothers) 
 
 
 
 
The first step to implementing part-time arrangements is to review the 4-step model comprising essential steps that an organisation should take to ensure an effective and sustainable programme. 
 
 
For the employee
 
A self-assessment may be useful for an employee to consider the various aspects involved in ensuring a successful part-time arrangement. A sample self-assessment questionnaire from WorkWise Ltd may be found at 
 
 
 
 
There are many industries where both part-time work and flexi-time are especially relevant. However, in some cases where both flexible work arrangements are acceptable, a part-time arrangement usually yields more benefit. Part-time arrangements are especially more beneficial for industries in which operations occur at a fixed time, or when customer flow is peak over a certain period of time.
 
One example is the manufacturing industry where machines run at specific times and it is often not feasible for an employee to work on a flexi-time schedule. In such cases, companies may choose to retain employees (especially elderly employers who are considering retirement) by choosing a part-time strategy instead. Moreover, companies may allow part-time employees to work five shorter days covering lunch breaks or peak periods. This will also allow companies to economise during off peak hours.
 
Another example is the retail sector in which weekends are often peak periods with the best customer flow. More salespeople would be needed to meet customers’ demands. However, the potential pool of employees willing to work on weekends is usually small and often demands higher remuneration as weekends are a less popular time to work. Therefore, such industries can consider offering a part-time arrangement in which employees work only on weekends. 
 
Attached is a sample checklist on issues to consider before implementing a part-time arrangement.
 
 
It is very important for the senior management to be aware of the legal requirements and regulations set forth for part-time employment by the government, before embarking on the prospective arrangements with employees.
 
Please refer to the Ministry of Manpower’s website for more details on employment regulations: 
 
If the barriers to part-time work cannot be resolved, the organisation / employee may consider other types of flexible work arrangements.
 
 

 
Supervisors play an important role in the dynamics between part-time employees and their co-workers. Therefore, the organisation should also look into training in work-life  effectiveness for the supervisors of part-time employees.
 
 
 
Regular communication is essential to ensure the working dynamics between part-time employees and their co-workers is positive.  Therefore, department meetings should be scheduled on days where the part-time employee can be present.  In addition, the employee and supervisor should discuss how often they will meet to monitor the part-time arrangement. 
 
 
Implementation
 
 
Before embarking on the part-time arrangement, the organisation should determine if there is a need for a pilot study or a trial period. This is especially important if it plans to design 

a strategy for a significant number of employees.
 
For the pilot study, the organisation should consider the number of employees to be involved. At this stage, employees selected are often those with experience.
 
For the trial period / study, the organisation needs to determine the duration of the period.
 
 
 
 
In the final stages of implementing the part-time work policy, the management should meet with the HR team to draft guidelines for part-time employees and their immediate supervisors. When doing so, the management should consider the non-negotiable elements such as maintaining productivity. It should also gather feedback from the concerns faced by employees to ensure that the guidelines clearly address those concerns.
 
The following tips for managing part-time practices may help:
 
  • Clarifying terms and conditions of part-time employment
  • Establishing rights and processes for reverting to full-time work
  • Ensuring regular part-time workers are not seen as ‘second class’ employees
  • Introducing options for promoting the integration for part-time staff, including access to staff development and training, career structures, communication and consultation mechanisms
  • Addressing any grievances that may arise

 

 
After introducing the part-time arrangement, the next step would be to evaluate the whole programme.  Two key issues to consider throughout this process are whether the identified business aims / goals satisfied, and whether the employee needs are satisfied.  
A part-time arrangement should be supported if there are no adverse effects to the way the organisation functions.  When assessing the employee’s performance standards and productivity, performance feedback may be sought from the part-time employee’s immediate supervisor and co-workers (where appropriate), with the focus on whether performance and productivity are maintained – any increase should be regarded as a bonus rather than an essential criteria.  In most cases employee productivity and performance does increase as the employee is more focus and less stressed (due to the reduction of overall working hours). 
 
To assess the programme’s cost effectiveness, another cost-benefit analysis may be done.  It is not uncommon for the cost of hiring to increase especially in the case where 2 part-time employees are hired for 1 full-time position.  However, it is unlikely that the long-term costs will outweigh the benefits.  The qualitative benefits should also not be discounted – increased loyalty, increased productivity and the multiplier effect of increased experience.
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About The Dow Chemical Company
 
With 46,000 employees worldwide, Dow is a diversified chemical company delivering a broad range of products and services to customers in around 160 countries. The Singapore branch has two offices, a business centre at the Heeren on Orchard Road and the Dow Singapore Development Center in Tuas. It has 153 full-time employees including 7 expatriates and 12 contract staff.
 
From employee surveys, the company has ascertained that 81 percent of employees are satisfied with the support they receive from their leaders and 80 percent are satisfied with their work environment.
 
Dow Singapore was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Flexi Hours and Part Time
 
Flexible Hours. Employees decide on the time they start and end work each day within limits set by the management. Formal application and approval from supervisors are required. Employees can also exercise day-to-day informal flexibility (irregular flexi-time) where schedules permit and which are communicated to the department.
 
Part Time. Part-time staff work fewer hours and their pay is commensurate with their hours. Dow currently has three employees on part-time schedule. Guidelines on flexible work arrangements are provided on Dow’s internal Flexibility @ Dow website to assist supervisors and employees in planning flexible work schedules.
 
Leave Benefits - Leave Management System
 
Each employee manages his or her own leave records, submitting a summary to Human Resources only at the end of the year. Above the statutory childcare leave requirement, Dow allows its employees to use 3 days of the allocated 6 days of childcare leave per year for family care leave. This benefit is also extended to non-Singaporean employees and contract employees. Meant for use in the event of family illness, employees can apply to use this leave benefit to nurse the family member, which includes grandparents and siblings.
 
Dow provides 80 work days of maternity leave and 30 days of adoption leave for all female employees including non-Singaporean employees. This is above the statutory requirements of maternity leave for employees with a non-Singaporean child and adoption leave. In addition, the employee is given a lump sum maternity or adoption benefit.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Housing Loan Interest Subsidy. The objective of this subsidy is to financially assist local employees to purchase a property as their primary residence. Dow funds a certain percentage of the housing loan interest for a maximum of 20 years. This programme is open to employees who have completed at least one year of service as well as local employees on overseas assignments. The subsidy is paid directly into the employees’ monthly payroll. About 40% of the staff utilise this programme and Dow pays a total of $200,000 in subsidies per year. This benefit is popular with staff, especially since local property prices are among the highest in the region.
 
Flexible Benefits. The programme introduced in 2008 brings revised and improved benefits to employees. Medical fee reimbursement is now extended to parents and parents-in-law and employees can also use their flexi benefits for other wellness claims, including purchase of fitness equipment.
 
Medical Benefits. Hospitalisation and surgical insurance and group major medical insurance coverage are made available to immediate family members of all employees. At the request of employees, Dow’s medical coverage plan now reimburses consultation with registered Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners.
 
Activities. One activity is organised almost every month. This includes Family Day, Movie Night, Employee Appreciation Lunch and health programmes.
 
Meeting-free days. Work groups and departments establish blocks of time when no meetings are scheduled.
 
Employee Quote
 
“The Housing Loan Interest Subsidy is easy to apply and obviously helps employees bear some interest burden when purchasing a property.” 
A Dow Treasury System Specialist
 
To find out more about Dow Chemical, please visit: http://www.dow.com
 
 
 
About Institute of Mental Health
 

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) offers both stay-in and out-patient tertiary multi-disciplinary psychiatric services for both the local population as well as international clientele; and is the first mental health institution in Asia to receive accreditation for its quality healthcare practices from the Joint Commission International (JCI) in 2005.
 
Their patient-centric, multi-faceted and comprehensive ranges of psychiatric, rehabilitative and counselling services are designed to meet the needs of children & adolescents, adults and the elderly.
 
1,589 workers keep the hospital running smoothly. Since the implementation of work life initiatives, turnover rate has dropped from 11.1 percent in 2004 to 8.5 percent in 2008. The Institute Of Mental Health was awarded the Work Life Achiever Award in 2006 & 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements - Nurses’ Everglow Programme
 
IMH initiated the Retired Nurses Everglow Programme in February 2008 and invited retired nurses aged between 50 and 60 to resume work under special arrangements. To date, IMH has 13 nurses on this scheme with more coming on board. They are re-employed on a part-time basis of 21 or 28 hours per week. As they are trained and experienced nurses, they help to mentor young and new nurses as well as supplement staff shortage in the hospital. The Retired Nurses Everglow Programme offer retired nurses creative job options, allowing them to remain in the workforce while enjoying their retirement years. IMH is also exploring training opportunities for mature nurses who wish to upgrade their skills.
 
Leave Benefits - Family Care Leave
 
IMH provides 3 days of Family Care Leave over and above annual leave allocation. Staff have utilised this benefit to attend to the needs of their children and elderly parents. This includes taking the first day of school off and bringing aged parents for medical appointments.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
To help staff improve their health, workplace health programmes were organised and the results as captured in a 2008 survey indicated an increase in participation of various workplace health activities by staff.
 
Employee Quote
 
“I left IMH in 2005 to care for my granddaughter. I am very happy to return to work as a part-time staff under the Nurses’ Everglow Programme. The arrangement gives me time to attend to my personal and family needs. The flexi-work schedule also allows me to drop off my granddaughter at the nursery and pick her up in the evening. I was posted back to my previous department and I was able to get down to work immediately as I was already familiar with both the work and my colleagues. The Director of Nursing and all my colleagues have been very encouraging and that really boosts my confidence and feelings of acceptance.” 
Mdm Tang Siew Heng, Senior Nurse Educator
 
To find out more about IMH, please visit: http://www.imh.com.sg
 
 
 
About OTi Consulting Pte Ltd
 
OTi Consulting is an international human resource and organisational development consultancy firm with 31 employees. The firm commits itself to meet its staff and business needs by 

introducing flexibility in work-life arrangements. As a result, OTi has been able to retain staff who are otherwise unable to work full-time. Two of six part-time staff have been retained for more than six years due to the availability of flexible options. This has helped OTi save the cost of retraining new staff. The majority of the employees expressed job satisfaction and enthusiasm for the company’s work-life practices. OTi won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
OTi is mindfully flexible in offering different types of part time arrangements to different staff to ensure that the staff’s and the organisation’s needs are balanced and met.
 
Eight staff are currently on formalised flexible work arrangements. Some of them opted for permanent part time while others have opted for flexible work arrangement for a period of time to accommodate a short-term need, e.g. caring for a newborn or an elderly parent, or training for a competitive sports event.
 
Part time arrangements allow employees to work an agreed number of hours per week. Some staff have opted to work fewer days per week, while others prefer shorter working hours per day. All consultants are also eligible to telecommute on a need basis. They can do this simply by informing their supervisors and ensuring that client and company commitments are not compromised. This is possible as there is already a culture of high trust and management and employees abide by the “Flexibility with Accountability” principle. Such flexible work arrangements have provided OTi with a wider pool of talents to tap on while keeping manpower overheads low during off-peak periods.
 
Leave Benefits - Additional Family Leave
 
Employees are entitled to take up to two days of flexi family leave in addition to their annual leave to attend to emergencies without the need to produce any supporting documentation.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Fruit Day. Employees are encouraged to eat healthily with generous servings of fruits provided once a week.
 
Company Events. Christmas Party, Durian & Dinner Party, Pizza & Games Night and barbeques are organised throughout the year and family members are invited for some of these events. These events received enthusiastic response from staff and attendance is always very good.
 
To find out more about OTi, please visit: http://www.oticonsulting.com
 
 
 
About Republic Polytechnic
 
Republic Polytechnic (RP) is a post-secondary educational institution offering diploma programmes. RP practises a paperless and IT-driven work environment where staff are mobile and not restricted to the office. To achieve its goal of nurturing learning, RP believes it needs to start with nurturing its 735 staff. Since its work-life strategy was implemented, there has been quantifiable success in reducing management staff turnover to almost zero percent. Retaining the services of its key performers is of utmost importance as the polytechnic needs competent staff to manage its Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Surveys gathered after company events show that the staff were happy with the arrangements and desired more team bonding.
 
Republic Polytechnic was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Telecommuting and Part Time
 
The telecommuting scheme for administrative staff started in 2004 with only one specified day each week, which limited its effectiveness. In view of certain family circumstances, some staff may be allowed to work from a remote location more than once a week, upon their supervisor’s approval. 90 percent of the administrative staff have since taken up this option and provided enthusiastic feedback. It has allowed them to save on transportation time and also demonstrated the trust that their supervisors have in them. The management also feels that telecommuting enables RP to be ready for business continuity in the event of national crises such as SARS.
 
Associate Scheme. There is a group of part-time staff who are on a Contract for Service, namely Academic and Administrative Associates. The Academic Associates facilitate fewer classes based on their own schedule and some come in only once a week. They are paid based on a daily rate of facilitating a class. Administrative Associates work from home 100% of the time and at their own pace. They are paid on a task basis. These staff cannot work on a fixed schedule and would have to resign without the flexibility of this scheme. It caters to those who wish to spend more time with their family or have other commitments. RP finds it a cost effective way of retaining talent as well as having them provide a strong support for the full-time workforce.
 
Employee Support Schemes - Continuous Leave Benefit Scheme
 
If staff apply for 5 continuous working days of leave, they are entitled to claim $250 once a year. No questions are asked and receipts are not required when staff claim this holiday allowance, which is known in RP as the Off-Work Benefit. The management provides this scheme to counter any potential problems arising from insufficient time-outs; it wants to send the message that a full wind-down will result in a more recharged and committed employee.
 
John Young, Assistant Director from Office of Procurement and Technology, said “I have benefited from RP’s innovative work-life balance practices. The holiday allowance given for 5 continuous days of annual leave is an added incentive for my family.”
 
Employee Quote
 
“It does not matter where we are physically. As long as we have access to the Internet, we will be able to work from anywhere! We are working professionals and would be able to produce the same results even when we work from home.”
Ho Yeng Siang, Assistant Director from Office of Planning and International Operations
 
“I think RP’s Associate Scheme is perfect for homemakers like me; I have 3 young children. My working time is flexible as it allows me to tend to my children’s daily needs. I am happy to be part of the working society without sacrificing my family life. This is truly work-life balance for me. Thank you, RP, for giving me this opportunity.”
Valerie Toh, Administrative Associate from Office of Human Resources
 
“About 10 months after I had my first child, I felt I wanted to spend more time with her. Switching to an Academic Associate ensured that I could still have a part-time career, continue my relations with my department and yet have more personal time.”
Serene Chen, Academic Associate from Centre for Culture and Communications
 
To find out more about Republic Polytechnic, please visit: http://www.rp.edu.sg
 
 
About Singapore Power Group
 
Singapore Power Group (SP) owns and operates electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses in Singapore and Australia. International industry indices rate SP’s electricity grid in Singapore among the world’s best performing networks, with the fewest and shortest power outages of cities worldwide. SP has about 2,700 staff in Singapore. We are committed to providing reliable and efficient energy utility services to our customers through operational excellence and enhancing people capabilities.
 
SP nurtures our staff’s work-life balance so that they lead healthy and meaningful lives. This has in turn enhanced workplace safety, as seen in the increased number of “no-incident” days, and helped SP clinched two Work Life Achiever Awards from the Ministry of Manpower in 2006 and 2008.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements - Flexi Hours and Part Time
 
SP’s flexible work arrangements cater to the diverse needs of our employees and promote work-life balance. Subject to exigencies of work, employees can choose from four staggered commencing times. Working mothers can request for part-time employment of 21 or 28 hours a week to help them better manage work and family demands.
 
Leave Benefits - Non Statutory Leave
 
To help employees cope with life’s changing and unexpected demands, SP provides up to seven days of special leave a year including matrimonial, paternity, compassionate and examination leave. Eligible working mothers with 3 or more children below 6 years old can claim up to 15 days of paid unrecorded childcare leave, of which 6 are government-paid and extended to eligible male employees.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Quality Life Programme (QLP). SP advocates the holistic well-being of its employees including their health, social and personal development, career and finance, through an integrated programme called QLP. Activities ranging from talks to sports are organised to help our staff better manage work-life issues and lead an active lifestyle.
 
Employees with health risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity, are equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to manage their health through various health intervention programmes including cholesterol management, healthy eating and weight management. The Cholesterol Management Programme, for example, is a programme provided free to staff to help them lower their blood cholesterol through regular exercise, workshops and talks on fitness, food and nutrition counselling.
 
The QLP has been effective in reducing the number of staff going on medical leave and increasing the number of employees with zero medical leave in a year.
 
Flexible Benefits (FLEX). SP employees are given $750 of FLEX dollars each year which they can spend on their lifestyle needs, for example, payment of children’s education including child care centres and pre-schools, insurance premiums, preventive healthcare, outpatient medical, dental, holiday and fitness expenses.
 
Facilities. SParkz is a cosy staff lounge where employees relax and interact over food and games. It is equipped with audio and visual facilities for small group gatherings and functions.
 
SP Club serves the health, social and recreational needs of employees and their family members. Besides offering sports amenities like gym, badminton courts and dance studio, it also organises fitness classes, recreational and self-enrichment activities for the benefit of our employees.
 
A lactation room is conveniently available for use by female staff who are breastfeeding.
 
SP’s e-facilities such as the Enterprise Portal make it quick and easy for staff to learn about and sign up for new QLP events. Its online monthly staff newsletter, eSP, further promotes work-life balance by featuring QLP and SP Club events.
 
Family-oriented activities. SP organises an annual Family Day event where families, colleagues and management staff gather for an exciting day of fun and activities.
 
Employee Quote
 
“The activities under Cholesterol Management Programme are a great motivation. I managed to lower my cholesterol to a desired level halfway through the programme.” 
Gertrude Gomez, Executive Assistant, SP Services
 
“The Cholesterol Management Programme has improved my fitness level and helped me develop good dietary habits. With regular exercise, my body is now able to take on a high intensity aerobic workout. I feel healthier too.” 
Krishnaraj Murugaiah, Technical Officer, SP PowerGrid
 
To find out more about Singapore Power, please visit: http://www.singaporepower.com.sg

 

Phased Retirement

Definition

Your employees nearing retirement may want to keep working but do not want their original job scope or the same long work hours. Phased retirement helps you meet this need. A phased retirement scheme, e.g. through a part-time arrangement, allows your soon-to-retire employees to remain in the workforce under a reduced and more flexible work schedule.

Alternatively, you can also implement a change in the job function or job scope (e.g. less travelling). Phased retirement provides a win-win solution for you and your employee. Your employee gets to keep earning an income while your organisation retains the expertise of your retiring employees which they worked so hard to establish over a number of years.  

 

Phasing In or Out

Definition

You may have employees who may have circumstances that require them to shift from a part-time position into a full-time position or vice versa throughout their employment. Phasing In or Out is a flexible work arrangement where you can give your employees the flexibility to determine how many hours and when they can or desire to work, to ease their transition into/out of a full-time position.

Phasing In would include your employees who are returning to work after an extended period of leave, e.g. on a part-time basis after maternity leave, caring for sick parents, etc. before coming back to a full-time position. Phased retirement is one example of Phasing Out. 

 

Project-Based Work Definition

You may engage someone to complete a specific project. A contract for project-based work may be based on a set time frame/duration, or on a set of task or KPI.

 

Retirees Cover for Workers on Leave Definition

You may engage your retired workers to return to work on an ad-hoc or short-term basis when you require someone to cover the duties of workers who are on leave. This flexible work arrangement is called Retirees Cover for Workers On Leave. To make this effective for you, you will typically provide continuous training opportunities and remain in contact with your retirees after they leave your organisation. 

 

Seasonal Work Definition

When you have a seasonal peak, you may hire staff during this period to supplement your existing staff strength, or hire part-time staff to work over a certain period of time to cover the work of your existing staff. Examples of seasonal work arrangement include hiring more retail staff during The Great Singapore Sale or pre-Christmas season, or hiring staff to work on weekends to allow your full-time staff to enjoy their weekends off.

 

Shift-Swapping Definition

Shift Swapping is a flexible work arrangement that allows your shift-workers to trade shifts with each other when the need arises. This would enable your shift workers to arrange their schedule and plan their time more effectively to meet their personal needs and family responsibilities without sacrificing their job performance.

 

Telecommuting
 

Considerations

Implementation

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
Telecommuting allows your employees to carry out their jobs at a place other than the workplace using information and communication technologies. There could be a time when your employee is not be able to work from the office. This could be just for a day or for a longer period. You may arrange for telecommuting on a need-basis or on a regular and recurring basis.
Common locations for telecommuters are smart work centres, satellite offices, your client’s office as well as cafes and other suitable locations where your employees might work while in-between meetings instead of having to go back to the office.
 
Benefits to Employers
 
Telecommuting offers several benefits to you as the employer:
  • Increases your employees’ productivity. 
  • Builds your organisation’s image as an environmentally- and employee-friendly workplace.
  • Gives your organisation an edge in recruitment as many prefer companies that offer telecommuting. 
  • Allows your organisation to retain valued employees
    • Ensuring continuity of Service for experienced employees
    • Allowing for retention of institutional knowledge.
 
Benefits to Employees
 
Telecommuting also benefits your employees as it:
  • Gives your employees a greater sense of job control which leads to greater job satisfaction
  • Enables your employees to capitalise on peak productivity periods
  • Potentially lessens work-family conflicts which allows your employee to make working with your organisation more productive and sustainable
  • Eliminates commuting time and gives your employee more time to do more meaningful work
  • Your employee enjoys a less stressful work environment
 
 
 
for implementing Telecommuting
 
The first step to implementing telecommuting is to review the 4-step model comprising essential steps that an organisation should take to ensure an effective and sustainable programme.
 
 
For the employee
 
A self-assessment may be useful for an employee to consider the various aspects involved in ensuring a successful telecommuting arrangement.
 
 
For the employers
 
Likewise, there are multiple factors to take into account when agreeing to a telecommuting request.
 
A sample Telecommuting Checklist of factors to consider is attached.
 
 
Some useful things to consider when implementing telecommuting may be found here:
 
Performance management: 
Infocomm security measures:
Personal cyber security tips
supports infocomm adoption and provides ideas, advice and grants.
Infocomm@SME Programme
Guidelines and information on office ergonomics 
 
If the barriers to telecommuting cannot be resolved, the organisation / employee may consider other types of flexible work arrangements.
 
 
Considerations 
 
 
Although the organisation cannot be fully sure of the nominal costs and benefits of a telecommuting arrangement until a pilot study has been conducted, it is still useful to conduct a projected cost benefit analysis to see if the programme is cost effective for the company.
 
An online Cost‐Benefit Analysis tool may be found at 
 
 
 
Implementation
 
 
Before embarking on the telecommuting arrangement, the organisation should determine if there is a need for a pilot study or a trial period. This is especially important if it plans to design a strategy for a significant number of employees.
For the pilot study, the organisation should consider the number of employees to be involved.At this stage, employees selected are often those with experience.
For the pilot study / trial period, the organisation needs to determine the duration of the period.
 
 
 
 
 
In the final stages of implementing the Telecommuting arrangement, the management should meet with the HR team to draft guidelines for teleworkers and their immediate supervisors. When doing so, the management should consider the non‐negotiable elements such as maintaining productivity.
It should also gather feedback from the concerns faced by employees to ensure that the guidelines clearly address those concerns.
Once all the factors have been considered and any issues or concerns addressed, an agreement between the employee and the organisation which clearly outlines the work schedule, equipment used, and any other relevant details of the telecommuting arrangement, should be drafted. This is to ensure a mutual understanding of the job roles and expectations.
Samples of Telecommuting Agreements are provided here for reference:
 
 
 
Considerations 
 
 
 
After implementing the telecommuting arrangement, the next step would be to evaluate the whole programme. Two key issues to consider throughout this process are whether the identified business aims / goals are satisfied, and whether the employee needs are satisfied.
A telecommuting arrangement should be supported if there are no adverse effects to the way the organisation functions. When assessing the employee’s performance standards and productivity, performance feedback may be sought from the teleworker’s immediate supervisors and co‐workers (where appropriate), with the focus on whether performance and productivity are maintained – any increase should be regarded as a bonus rather than an essential criteria.
 
To assess the programme’s cost effectiveness, another cost‐benefit analysis can be conducted. It is important to note that in the short run, costs incurred by the organisation may increase. However, these costs are often fixed (e.g. setting up infrastructure in the office and the telework site). In the long run, the potential momentary and qualitative benefits will often be greater than these initial fixed costs.
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About IBM Singapore Pte Ltd
 
IBM is a globally integrated enterprise that targets the intersection of technology and effective business. The company seeks to be a partner in its clients' success by enabling their own capacity for distinctive innovation. To help clients achieve growth, effectiveness, efficiency and the realization of greater value through innovation, IBM draws upon the world’s leading systems, software and services capabilities.
 
In Singapore, the company has more than 3,000 staff. IBMers are guided by IBM Values, one of which is “Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships” and this includes the relationship between management and staff as well as between staff members. The IBM Values help the organisation understand and meet employee needs to inspire them to deliver integration and innovation to its clients and society. For their efforts, they were awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
Telecommuting, Flexi Hours and Part Time
 
Mobility Programme. Close to 70% of IBM employees are on a Mobility Program, and all of our employees are telecommuting-enabled. This means the employees have access to mobility tools and processes that allow them to work anytime, anywhere. This empowers IBMers to better manage their work and personal life, as well as enabling faster response to clients, hence optimising productivity.
 
Each IBMer has individual Key Performance Indicators which changes as his or her role changes. Thus, performance is not based on face-time in the office. Other flexible work arrangements that IBMers may apply for include Flexi Hours, Part Time and the Work-Life Leave Programme. 
To find out more about IBM, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/sg
 
 
 
Activity Interest Group - PoolAbout Public Service Division,
Prime Minister’s Office
 
The Public Service Division (PSD) sets policies for attracting and developing public sector talent and leadership, as well as ongoing training programmes. PSD analyses the potential impact of future trends on Singapore, develops strategic planning capabilities and helps shape whole-of-government policy. There are 9 departments in the organisation with a workforce of about 240 staff.
 
The senior management’s leadership by example has contributed to the success of work-life in PSD. The Permanent Secretary is a keen advocate of work-life; she regularly discusses work-life issues with line managers and staff, and emails work and life opinions in her “A Thought To Share” column. The Deputy Secretary (Policy) pays close attention to Employee Lifestyle surveys and holds meetings with middle and line managers to improve productivity and reduce work stress.
 
PSD’s work-life strategies have proven results with lowered consumption of medical leave and decreased staff turnover. Public Service Division was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Telecommuting
 
PSD recognises that its officers need to balance work and personal commitments. Thus, it accommodates arrangements whereby officers can apply to telecommute from home if this does not conflict with their job responsibilities. For example, Strategic Planning Office workers work from home once a week as their work is mainly research-based. This enhances their effectiveness as they need to work long hours but not necessarily in the office. Officers are also allowed to telecommute on ad hoc basis, for example when they need to attend to sick family members. Heads of Department are given the authority to approve telecommuting requests; and this has increased the efficiency of processing such requests.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Workplace Health Programme. PSD has a dedicated Workplace Health Programme (WHP) Committee with members from different departments to ensure maximum outreach to all staff. The committee has organised biennial health screening and fitness assessment exercises; regular fruits distribution and workshops on health and personal development issues.
 
Activity Interest Groups. This is an innovative programme which enables staff with similar interests to get together for joint activities once a week during office hours. The activities cover a wide range of interests, like yoga, taichi, bellydancing, brisk walking, running, swimming, and even book review sessions and photography. The fees of such activities are partly subsidised. At least 20 percent of the staff have participated in an Activity Interest Group.
 
Family Movie Passes. To promote family bonding, staff are given movie passes during school holidays or festive periods.
 
Back to School with Parents. Time-off is given to parents to bring their children to school during the first week of school in January. This is in line with PSD’s initiative to encourage positive parenting and help ease parents’ anxieties/stress about their young school-going children.
 
Employee Quote
 
“I appreciate the option to telecommute once a week. Flexibility, sense of autonomy, reduced commuting time and improved productivity are just some of the benefits. To me, the most appealing aspect of this arrangement is the mutual trust, respect and goodwill between enlightened bosses and staff. It really does not matter that I only manage to telecommute once a month or even less, due to meetings. What is important is knowing that I can exercise this option whenever necessary and that our bosses trust us and we will ensure the trust is reciprocated.”
Pei Ling, Strategic Policy Department
 
To find out more about PSD, please visit: http://www.psd.gov.sg
 
 
 
About Cherie Hearts Group International Pte Ltd
 
Cherie Hearts Group International is one of the largest childcare operators in Singapore. It has 40 local centres with 310 staff and has also set up childcare centres in neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia. Cherie Heart’s mission is to establish an environment where children and staff are respected as individuals. To achieve this, Cherie Hearts first recognises its staff as individuals with individual needs. Its work-life strategies have received good response, with 97 percent of employees giving feedback that they are satisfied with the measures. Cherie Hearts is also happy to report a turnover rate that is well below the industry norm. In recognition of its efforts, Cherie Hearts was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Telecommuting
Telecommuting among executives, managers and above was implemented to promote work-life and to maintain motivation among the staff. One example of employees benefiting from the scheme was Ms Susan Loke, Senior Vice President of the Business Development Department. She experienced difficulty in the first trimester of her pregnancy, and Cherie Hearts arranged for her to work from the comfort of her home for the entire first trimester and provided her with a laptop to facilitate her tasks. Not only was she satisfied with the arrangement, but her performance continued to be as productive at home as it had been in the office. After this critical period, she returned to the office with peace of mind and she has since given birth to a healthy baby girl.
 
Cherie Hearts does not merely respond to employees’ work-life needs on an ad-hoc basis. Feedback is gathered at regular group discussions and translated into relevant work-life strategies which are warmly welcomed by the staff as the suggestions had been given by them.
 
 
Leave Benefit - Family Care Leave
 
Cherie Hearts endorses leave for staff to take care of their family. This is in addition to other leave benefits that include bereavement, compassionate, emergency, marriage, paternity, sabbatical, study and exam leave. Vice President, Ms Mona Tan, benefited from the Family Care leave when she needed to attend to her elderly mother on the days that the caregiver was away.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Staff Recreation Room. A staff recreation room has been set up in Cherie Hearts’ headquarters for staff to have a cosy relaxation place. The room is equipped with easy chairs, games and karaoke facilities.
 
To find out more about Cherie Hearts, please visit: http://www.cheriehearts.com.sg/index.html
 
 
 
About Fei Yue Family Service Centre
 
Fei Yue is a non-profit voluntary welfare organisation which provides a wide range of assistance and counselling services as well as developmental and preventative programmes. It has 10 service centres throughout Singapore caring for families, retirees, youths and children with special needs. 105 full-time and part-time workers and 340 volunteers serve in Fei Yue. Its workers and volunteers are important to Fei Yue, and it has put in place a number of work-life strategies which were given a rating of 4.4 out of 5 in an employee survey. Staff turnover has also remained low despite the high turnover in the industry. A majority of Fei Yue staff have been with the organisation for more than 4 years. A number of employees who left previously have also returned to work with Fei Yue full time. This has allowed the company to retain experienced staff and benefit from continuity and retention of institutional knowledge. Fei Yue Family Service Centre was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Telecommuting
 
A Work-Life Needs Assessment was conducted to accurately measure the needs of employees and the organisation. Thereafter, 3 flexible work arrangements were put in place -- flexi hours, part time and telecommuting. The Work-Life Committee developed the guiding principles and administration of the scheme so that it will run smoothly and efficiently.
 
16 employees have benefited from telecommuting arrangements since flexibility was implemented, because it allowed them to work from home for up to 5 days a week. One employee was particularly appreciative of this initiative as it enabled her to parent her teenage son effectively. Without this telecommuting option, she may have had to resign; instead she is now more focused and productive in her work.
 
17 employees work part time and have benefited from it. Some have family commitments, while others are pursuing further studies. One part-time employee shared that this work arrangement gives her greater flexibility in juggling the twin demands of work and studies.
 
Fei Yue emphasises effectiveness measured by achieved outcomes rather than hours logged in the office. The management has noted that staff on flexible work arrangements have demonstrated that they can be trusted to complete their duties efficiently.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Health and Wellness Programmes. Fei Yue has put in place various programmes like health screening, health talks, healthy cooking demonstrations and sports activities which are actively participated in by the majority of staff, and feedback is that they have benefited from these programmes.
To find out more about Fei Yue, please visit: http://www.fycs.org
 
 
 
About KPMG
 
KPMG provides audit, tax, financial and risk advisory services, with offices in 145 countries and more than 123,000 professionals worldwide. Its local office has 2,000 professionals and staff. Through its work-life strategies, it has seen a significant improvement in staff engagement scores and an 8 percent decrease in staff turnover in 2007. Heartening was the improvement in staff attendance at work-life events like the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Run and on-site health screening organised by the company.
 
KPMG was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Many of the professional staff have been equipped with Blackberry devices or provided sponsored wireless broadband access from home. As their job nature requires them to be off-site and travel overseas, providing such telecommunication equipment and infrastructure greatly facilitates and motivates them. The take-up rate for Blackberry devices was 91 percent, demonstrating that the initiative was practical and welcomed by employees.
 
 
Leave Benefits – Respect for Leave policy
 
The firm has put in place an electronic leave system so employees can more effectively manage their leave applications online. In addition, all annual and overtime leave have a 12-month utilisation period from the time it is earned and does not expire by 31 December yearly. KPMG has inculcated a culture where supervisors and employees respect leave and plan work schedules around it. A 260-hour overtime cap which had been previously implemented to encourage work-life balance was lifted in January 2008 as it was no longer needed.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
The People Management Leaders (PML) programme was implemented in 2007 with the goal of creating a winning, supportive and happy environment for KPMG. PML brings together human resource personnel and line managers to design programmes that make working hours more efficient, reduce staff turnover and increase staff engagement. This has resulted in higher utilisation of leave, reduction in overtime hours and active participation in work-life programmes.
 
To find out more about KPMG, please visit: http://www.kpmg.com.sg

 

Time Bank

Definition

You may offer an arrangement in which you agree with your employees on a fixed number of hours over a specified time period (weekly, monthly, quarterly), e.g. 24 hours a week when they would work. Additional hours are accumulated in what is called a time bank which your employees can take as time-off in-lieu.

The Time Bank flexible work arrangement may only be used for your employees who are not covered under the Employment Act. Employees covered under the Employment Act who are asked to work Over Time or to return to work on their Off Days or Rest Days are entitled to higher rates of pay for the hours worked. For these employees, please comply with the Employment Act which may be found on the Ministry of Manpower’s website. 

 

Weekend Work
Definition
 
You may optimise the use of part-timers who may only be able to work on weekends, e.g. homemakers or students. Weekend Work is useful in industries which have difficulty finding staff to work on weekends.

 

It is common practice to provide Leave Benefits for staff. Such benefits are contractually agreed upon between the employer and employee. Where possible (such as in the case of annual leave, block leave, study/exam leave, etc.) your staff should plan their leave schedule in advance and you should encourage supervisors and colleagues to respect this plan and try not to disrupt it.

Bereavement Leave Definition

You may grant a Bereavement Leave to an employee who has had a death in the family or household member.

 

Birthday Leave Definition

Happy birthday! The birthday leave is a day-off your employee takes over and above their annual leave to celebrate his/her birthday. Commonly, organisations allow their employees to take this leave in the week before/after their actual birthday. 

 

Block Leave
 

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
Your employee may opt to use all his/her annual leave at one block of time, e.g. one week or more. Granting the Block Leave will provide your staff with a period of extended rest and refreshment. Sabbatical Leave and Career Break Leave are examples of Block Leave.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Republic Polytechnic
 
Republic Polytechnic (RP) is a post-secondary educational institution offering diploma programmes. RP practises a paperless and IT-driven work environment where staff are mobile and not restricted to the office. To achieve its goal of nurturing learning, RP believes it needs to start with nurturing its 735 staff. Since its work-life strategy was implemented, there has been quantifiable success in reducing management staff turnover to almost zero percent. Retaining the services of its key performers is of utmost importance as the polytechnic needs competent staff to manage its Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Surveys gathered after company events show that the staff were happy with the arrangements and desired more team bonding.
 
Republic Polytechnic was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting and Part Time
 
The telecommuting scheme for administrative staff started in 2004 with only one specified day each week, which limited its effectiveness. In view of certain family circumstances, some staff may be allowed to work from a remote location more than once a week, upon their supervisor’s approval. 90 percent of the administrative staff have since taken up this option and provided enthusiastic feedback. It has allowed them to save on transportation time and also demonstrated the trust that their supervisors have in them. The management also feels that telecommuting enables RP to be ready for business continuity in the event of national crises such as SARS.
 
Associate Scheme. There is a group of part-time staff who are on a Contract for Service, namely Academic and Administrative Associates. The Academic Associates facilitate fewer classes based on their own schedule and some come in only once a week. They are paid based on a daily rate of facilitating a class. Administrative Associates work from home 100% of the time and at their own pace. They are paid on a task basis. These staff cannot work on a fixed schedule and would have to resign without the flexibility of this scheme. It caters to those who wish to spend more time with their family or have other commitments. RP finds it a cost effective way of retaining talent as well as having them provide a strong support for the full-time workforce.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes – Continuous Leave Benefit Scheme
 
If staff apply for 5 continuous working days of leave, they are entitled to claim $250 once a year. No questions are asked and receipts are not required when staff claim this holiday allowance, which is known in RP as the Off-Work Benefit. The management provides this scheme to counter any potential problems arising from insufficient time-outs; it wants to send the message that a full wind-down will result in a more recharged and committed employee. John Young, Assistant Director from Office of Procurement and Technology, said “I have benefited from RP’s innovative work-life balance practices. The holiday allowance given for 5 continuous days of annual leave is an added incentive for my family.”
 
Employee Quotes
 
“It does not matter where we are physically. As long as we have access to the Internet, we will be able to work from anywhere! We are working professionals and would be able to produce the same results even when we work from home.”
- Ho Yeng Siang, Assistant Director from Office of Planning and International Operations
 
“I think RP’s Associate Scheme is perfect for homemakers like me; I have 3 young children. My working time is flexible as it allows me to tend to my children’s daily needs. I am happy to be part of the working society without sacrificing my family life. This is truly work-life balance for me. Thank you, RP, for giving me this opportunity.”
- Valerie Toh, Administrative Associate from Office of Human Resources
 
“About 10 months after I had my first child, I felt I wanted to spend more time with her. Switching to an Academic Associate ensured that I could still have a part-time career, continue my relations with my department and yet have more personal time.”
- Serene Chen, Academic Associate from Centre for Culture and Communications
 
To find out more about Republic Polytechnic, please visit: http://www.rp.edu.sg

 

Sabbatical /
Career Break Leave

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
You may also grant your employees a long break from work for them to pursue leisure activities, visit parents/children overseas, etc. The Career Break Leave may be from a week to a few months, fully paid, part-paid, or unpaid. 
 
Your employee’s return is considered a continuation of his/her employment, and not a resignation.
 
 
 
 
About Purple Sage Pte Ltd
 
Purple Sage is a party caterer with fusion cuisine, setup and service. It offers convenience to clients as a ‘one-stop’ service by helping them source for party venues, music and 

entertainment. 
Purple Sage has also ventured into the regional market, starting with Beijing. The local office is manned by 52 full-time employees and 15 part-time employees. Within a year of implementing work-life initiatives, employees’ retention rate had improved from 81 to 85 percent. Part-time employees have also returned to Purple Sage to work full time after completing their studies. Purple Sage was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit – Non Core Leave
 
Sabbatical Leave. Heads of Departments can take up to 10 days of sabbatical leave a year to spend time with family or take up enrichment courses for upgrading of skills. This benefit will be extended to all full-time employees.
 
Study Leave. Full-time employees who take up an education support scheme with Purple Sage can apply for study leave to prepare for examinations. In addition, Purple Sage offers educational financial assistance to employees. This work-life programme has been well received by the employees.
 
Other leave benefits offered by Purple Sage include marriage, childcare, maternity, paternity, emergency, compassionate and child adoption leave.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Selected management staff are given Blackberrys to facilitate telecommuting. Some employees are also issued laptops to facilitate work at remote areas.
 
Employee Support Schemes – Health
 
Health Initiatives. Purple Sage has a fitness membership with a hotel close to the office. Employees can therefore enjoy the hotel’s gymnasium, steam-room, swimming pool and fitness classes during lunch time or after work. 80 percent of the staff have capitalised on this benefit. There are also complimentary on-site health screening and regular health talks. The staff pantry is stocked with healthy items like yogurt, cholesterol-free chips and cereal. Kitchen and operations teams are given complimentary staff meals. The workers appreciate this thoughtfulness as they save on time and lunch money, especially foreign employees who need to remit their allowance to their home countries.
 
Empowerment. Purple Sage has a training budget that allows selected employees to improve their skills in media, sales, languages, culinary and wine appreciation courses, etc. Performing employees are given the opportunity to gain experience in Purple Sage’s Beijing office or to participate in overseas exhibitions. Staff are empowered to handle project budgets where they can decide the allocation of funds. Staff are also empowered to offer discounts whenever appropriate.
 
Company Events. Purple Sage organises bonding events such as its anniversary retreat at Johor Bahru, movie nights, laser quest, paintball, bowling and Christmas parties. More than 95 percent of staff participate in these events. Families are also invited to the Movie Nights and complimentary snacks are provided by Purple Sage. Employees and immediate family members enjoy generous discounts when they cater or buy flowers from the company.
 
Flexi benefits. Purple Sage is aware that one benefit cannot fit all, so a flexi benefit of $300 is given to middle management employees for claims regarding childcare assistance, dental and surgical services, IT products, or other services. The process of claiming is hassle-free as submissions are made together with month-end official claims.
 
To find out more about Purple Sage, please visit: http://www.purplesage.com.sg
 
 
 
About NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd
 
With over 3,500 employees in seven countries, NatSteel Holdings is one of the largest steel producers in the Asia Pacific. In Singapore - the regional headquarters - where about 1,500 staff are employed, NatSteel’s work-life strategies have proven to be effective. Not only has employee retention improved, with staff staying for nine years or more on average, absenteeism has also dropped and productivity increased.
 
For its work-life efforts, NatSteel was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award in 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
 
Bereavement / Compassionate leave - On the demise of family members, employees are granted up to a maximum of ten days’ compassionate leave in a year.
Marriage leave - Newlyweds enjoy six days of paid marriage leave.
Paternity leave - New fathers can celebrate new births (up to the third child) with two days of paid leave.
Study / Exam leave - Staff on company-sponsored courses can take one-day leave to prepare for their examinations. 
Renewal leave - This is granted on a case-by-case basis for employees who need a sabbatical to refresh themselves. 
Corporate Social Responsibility leave - Staff are given one-day leave to participate in company-organised charitable activities for its adopted charities.
Emergency leave / Unrecorded time-off - Employees are able to claim emergency leave for family and personal matters.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
NatSteel allows its sales and marketing staff the freedom to work away from office, using mobile phones to access the internet, intranet and other in-house systems to facilitate their work.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
In-house Occupational Health Unit - NatSteel’s Occupational Health Unit (OHU) is staffed with trained nurses and a full-time doctor to provide occupational health services. In addition, OHU organises workplace health programmes such as physical fitness assessments and annual health screening, as well as regular health and family talks and workshops on topics such as weight management, cholesterol lowering and smoking cessation. Employees who have attended the health talks and workshops gave positive feedback; they now have a better understanding of illnesses and health management.
 
NatSteel also subsidises lunch-time exercise programmes such as yoga and aerobics, as well as off-site sports activities such as soccer, tennis and squash. On top of the annual Family Day, NatSteel also organises bowling, fishing, cycling and farm tours for its staff.
 
To find out more about Natsteel, please visit: http://www.natsteel.com.sg 
 
Work-Life Snapshots
 
 
Joining in New Year Party games together with their department staff - Vice President for Production, Mr Chong Pek Hoong (left picture, third from left), and Senior Vice President for InfoTech Services, Mr Lur Boon Kwee (right picture, second from right).
 
 
Mr Narendran (extreme right), President & CEO, learning to make mooncakes during the Mooncake Festival Celebration. 
 
 
Leading employees towards a healthier lifestyle - Mr Narendran (second from right) participating in simple exercises at the Healthy Weight Campaign Launch 
 
 
Mr Narendran (first row, centre) joining in the warm-up exercises on Family Day 08, together with his wife (first row, extreme right) and Senior Vice President for Operations (Systems), Mr Eng Poh Tzan (first row, extreme left)

 

Childcare / Eldercare /
Family-care Leave

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
You may grant your employee Childcare Leave that allows him/her to spend time with his/her child without the need for a medical certificate. For example, your employee can use the leave to accompany his/her child on the first day of school, or care for the child personally should the usual care arrangements fall through.
 
Please visit the MOM website to find out more about the statutory requirements on childcare leave.
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)
 
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today's economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skills-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for all workers - young and older, from rank and file to professionals and executives - to upgrade and advance in their careers and lives.
 
As the lead agency for workforce development, WDA places great emphasis on and engages in work-life initiatives through conducting regular staff profiling exercises and gathering of feedback among its 400 employees. Benefits are then packaged to cater to the unique needs of its staff profile. Healthy lifestyle initiatives such as sports day, regular runs and health-screening sessions have also resulted in reduction of medical leave taken from 4 percent in 2005 to 2.8 percent in 2006, and the agency was given the Singapore Health Award in 2006. WDA has been commended on its sustained programmes to heighten work-life balance and its established committee for staff welfare. It was presented with the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
 
Eldercare Leave. Other than childcare, compassionate and marriage leave, WDA introduced the eldercare leave where employees are allowed to take leave to look after their parents or parents-in-law when they fall sick or to accompany them for medical appointments. WDA is one of the earlier statutory boards to introduce this scheme.
 
Birthday Leave. Employees are also granted 1 day of birthday leave. The birthday leave is to be taken on their birthday or within 1 week before or after their birthday. The birthday leave has been well-received and highly utilised by its employees.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours and Telecommuting
WDA offers staggered working hours to its employees. This means that employees are given the option to commence work at half-hourly intervals from 7.30am to 9.30am. An officer who enters office at 7.30am can thus leave as early as 5pm on a typical working day. Divisional directors are empowered to approve their staff’s preferred working hours, which makes subscription to staggered working hours more flexible and easy.
 
Majority of its employees are also provided with laptops with remote access to facilitate telecommuting. A small percentage of those without laptops with remote access are also able to request for it on an ad hoc basis.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
In-house Occupational Health Unit - NatSteel’s Occupational Health Unit (OHU) is staffed with trained nurses and a full-time doctor to provide occupational health services. In addition, OHU organises workplace health programmes such as physical fitness assessments and annual health screening, as well as regular health and family talks and workshops on topics such as weight management, cholesterol lowering and smoking cessation. Employees who have attended the health talks and workshops gave positive feedback; they now have a better understanding of illnesses and health management.
 
NatSteel also subsidises lunch-time exercise programmes such as yoga and aerobics, as well as off-site sports activities such as soccer, tennis and squash. On top of the annual Family Day, NatSteel also organises bowling, fishing, cycling and farm tours for its staff.
 
To find out more about WDA, please visit: http://www.wda.gov.sg
 
 
About DSO National Laboratories
 
DSO National Laboratories is Singapore's national defence research and development organisation. As one of Singapore’s top research institutions, DSO fuses its multi-disciplinary expertise to develop secret-edge technological surprises for our nation’s defence. Many of the mission-critical systems in the Singapore Armed Forces today bear the invisible imprint of its work, across the domains of air, land, sea and cyberspace.
 
Out of a workforce of close to 1,500 staff, the organisation has over 1,000 research scientists and engineers. DSO’s people and their passion for their work are the organisation’s cornerstones to developing innovations that transform Singapore from the ‘Little’, to the ‘Lethal’ Red Dot. Thus, retaining talent is key to DSO’s success.
 
DSO National Laboratories was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit - Family Care Leave and Child Sick Leave
 
On top of statutory leave, every staff is entitled to 2 days of family care leave per calendar year.
 
Family care leave was implemented to encourage staff to spend more time with their families, as well as provide them the flexibility to attend to family emergencies. In addition, employees with children are entitled to 5 days of child sick leave per year for each child under 7 years of age, up to a maximum of 15 days per year.
 
DSO also provides compassionate, marriage, paternity, sabbatical and examination leave.
 
Ensuring Employees’ Well-Being
 
By implementing strategies that promote worklife, DSO aims to increase staff morale, and has seen a corresponding increase in employee satisfaction over the years. Surveys conducted annually showed that staff are likely to continue working in DSO and would recommend others to join the company.
 
To address the issue of sick leave among staff, DSO noted that influenza was a common reason for its employees’ ill health. It then instituted a wellness programme to provide staff with free flu vaccinations, which was well-received.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
DSO staff can seek approval from their supervisors to start work at 8am, 8.30am or 9am. The company’s operating hours also end half an hour earlier on Friday than on other weekdays. These flexi-hour arrangements have helped the staff to better manage their schedules, and balance both work and personal responsibilities.
 
DSO supervisors are also empowered to respond to their staff’s requests for no-pay leave, flexible working hours and part-time employment. Employees need not fill up time-consuming hard copy forms, but can send their requests directly to their supervisors for approval via email.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
DSO’s Recreation Committee organises more than 60 activities each year, categorised into wellness, enrichment, sports, and special events.
 
Some of these activities are open to staff’s family members. Highlights include the Dinner & Dance, Family Day, National Day Celebration, Chinese New Year Celebration, as well as free movie screenings, health snack giveaways and recreational lunchtime talks.
 
Employee Quote
 
DSO research engineer, Ms Lee Chow Ying’s passionate pursuit off work is in ice-skating. She is a national ice skater with multiple local and international medals.
 
Said Chow Ying, “I’m grateful to my supervisor, who allows me to start work later on training days, so that I can train on the ice rink during off-peak hours when it is less crowded.”
 
 
To find out more about DSO, please visit: http://www.dso.org.sg
 
 
 
About Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
 
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) acts as an agent of the government to assess collect and enforce payment of taxes. IRAS also advises the government and represents Singapore internationally on matters relating to taxation. It hires 1,700 staff to fulfil its various functions.
 
To accomplish its vision to be a leading tax administrator in the world, IRAS believes in building an excellent team of competent and committed people. Its work-life policy is based on three pillars of time with Family/Friends, Work and Health; and programmes are designed to meet staff’s needs in these areas. As a result, attrition rates have dipped from 5.8 percent in 2004 to 4.9 percent in 2007; and employees have indicated satisfaction in working for the company. IRAS won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit - Spouse hospitalisation and Eldercare Leave
 
IRAS supports employees’ roles in their respective families by introducing time-off for staff to attend to spouse hospitalisation and eldercare needs. This allowed staff to continue caring for their spouse and elders even after they have exhausted their vacation leave. Staff may take up to 2 days of time-off for eldercare and 3 days for spouse hospitalisation within a year.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – 5-Day Work-Week and Staggered Hours
 
IRAS is in the business of providing frontline service, thus it needs to organise its work schemes without compromising its service to the public. The organisation introduced a 5-day work-week in 2004 in which frontline staff work only one Saturday each month and take the following Monday off.
 
IRAS also allows its staff to report for work at different times – 8 am, 8.30 am and 9 am. With this flexibility, working parents can send their children to school and come to work on time.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Benefits. IRAS introduced a flexible benefits scheme whereby officers can claim for costs incurred in health screenings, personal development courses, insurance, computer equipment and travelling on a co-share basis. The scheme was introduced based on findings from an employee needs survey. Its wide scope of coverage allows IRAS to meet the diverse needs of staff. For example, staff can make use of the Flexible Benefit funds for health screenings and vaccinations; or attend recreational and enrichment courses. About 80 percent of the fund has been utilised since the scheme was launched. The scheme is reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains relevant to the needs of the staff.
 
To find out more about IRAS, please visit: http://www.iras.gov.sg
 
 
About NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd
 
NTUC First Campus is a community of teachers, parents and early childhood professionals working together to bring out the best in each child. NTUC First Campus was established as NTUC Childcare in 1977 and became a co-operative in 1992. It has an extensive network of more than 50 pre-schools and a staff of over 1,000 dedicated professionals who are all passionate and committed to achieving the best for each child.
 
Because of the labour-intensive nature of the pre-school industry, the smooth operation of its childcare centres is heavily reliant on the active engagement of staff. The management recognises that happy employees make for engaged employees and make continuous efforts to build a culture where colleagues readily help each other and work as a team. NTUC First Campus reported a steady decline in staff turnover and medical leave taken. NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award in 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
 
On top of statutory annual leave, all NTUC First Campus employees are entitled to a generous range of special leave every year. This “special leave” applies to caring for sick children, elderly parents and their in-laws. Other non-core leave benefits include singles, marriage, paternity and compassionate leave. Since the implementation of this special leave arrangement, the management has received favourable feedback from staff about this benefit.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
Staff in the main office and RTRC Asia non-trainers can opt to start work at 8.30 am or 9.00 am. Staff at childcare centres can opt to commence work on shifts staggered at 30 minute intervals starting from 7.00 am, subject to operational constraints. As the childcare centres operate from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm, this rostering of staff ensures sufficient manpower during operational hours.
 
Employee Support Schemes – Fitness Schemes
 
NTUC First Campus offers an array of health and wellness programmes, including $100 of flexible benefits annually which staff can claim for health and wellness services such as prescriptive eyewear, fitness club memberships, holiday expenses and dental treatments. NTUC First Campus has also made arrangements with Alexandra Hospital to offer on-site health screening for staff at their respective centres. The cost is totally borne by NTUC First Campus. Staff are then issued with individual medical reports, thus helping them be more aware of their health status.
 
To find out more about NTUC Childcare, please visit: http://www.ntuc-childcare.com

 

Compassionate Leave Definition

There are times when your employee is faced with a crisis in the family, normally the death of a family member. You may grant Compassionate leave to give your employee time off work to deal with his/her crisis. Compassionate Leave may also cover a serious or incapacitating illness of your employee’s family member.

 

Childcare / Eldercare /
Family-care Leave

Success Stories

 
Definition

You may grant your employees Eldercare Sick Leave so that they can have time-off to take care of their elderly parents/family members when they are ill.

 
Success Stories
 
 
About Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)
 
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today's economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skills-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for all workers - young and older, from rank and file to professionals and executives - to upgrade and advance in their careers and lives.
 
As the lead agency for workforce development, WDA places great emphasis on and engages in work-life initiatives through conducting regular staff profiling exercises and gathering of feedback among its 400 employees. Benefits are then packaged to cater to the unique needs of its staff profile. Healthy lifestyle initiatives such as sports day, regular runs and health-screening sessions have also resulted in reduction of medical leave taken from 4 percent in 2005 to 2.8 percent in 2006, and the agency was given the Singapore Health Award in 2006. WDA has been commended on its sustained programmes to heighten work-life balance and its established committee for staff welfare. It was presented with the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
 
Eldercare Leave. Other than childcare, compassionate and marriage leave, WDA introduced the eldercare leave where employees are allowed to take leave to look after their parents or parents-in-law when they fall sick or to accompany them for medical appointments. WDA is one of the earlier statutory boards to introduce this scheme.
 
Birthday Leave. Employees are also granted 1 day of birthday leave. The birthday leave is to be taken on their birthday or within 1 week before or after their birthday. The birthday leave has been well-received and highly utilised by its employees.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours and Telecommuting
 
WDA offers staggered working hours to its employees. This means that employees are given the option to commence work at half-hourly intervals from 7.30am to 9.30am. An officer who enters office at 7.30am can thus leave as early as 5pm on a typical working day. Divisional directors are empowered to approve their staff’s preferred working hours, which makes subscription to staggered working hours more flexible and easy.
 
Majority of its employees are also provided with laptops with remote access to facilitate telecommuting. A small percentage of those without laptops with remote access are also able to request for it on an ad hoc basis.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
In-house Occupational Health Unit - NatSteel’s Occupational Health Unit (OHU) is staffed with trained nurses and a full-time doctor to provide occupational health services. In addition, OHU organises workplace health programmes such as physical fitness assessments and annual health screening, as well as regular health and family talks and workshops on topics such as weight management, cholesterol lowering and smoking cessation. Employees who have attended the health talks and workshops gave positive feedback; they now have a better understanding of illnesses and health management.
 
NatSteel also subsidises lunch-time exercise programmes such as yoga and aerobics, as well as off-site sports activities such as soccer, tennis and squash. On top of the annual Family Day, NatSteel also organises bowling, fishing, cycling and farm tours for its staff.
 
To find out more about WDA, please visit: http://www.wda.gov.sg
 
 
 
About DSO National Laboratories
 
DSO National Laboratories is Singapore's national defence research and development organisation. As one of Singapore’s top research institutions, DSO fuses its multi-disciplinary expertise to develop secret-edge technological surprises for our nation’s defence. Many of the mission-critical systems in the Singapore Armed Forces today bear the invisible imprint of its work, across the domains of air, land, sea and cyberspace.
 
Out of a workforce of close to 1,500 staff, the organisation has over 1,000 research scientists and engineers. DSO’s people and their passion for their work are the organisation’s cornerstones to developing innovations that transform Singapore from the ‘Little’, to the ‘Lethal’ Red Dot. Thus, retaining talent is key to DSO’s success.
 
DSO National Laboratories was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Leave Benefit - Family Care Leave and Child Sick Leave
 
On top of statutory leave, every staff is entitled to 2 days of family care leave per calendar year.
 
Family care leave was implemented to encourage staff to spend more time with their families, as well as provide them the flexibility to attend to family emergencies. In addition, employees with children are entitled to 5 days of child sick leave per year for each child under 7 years of age, up to a maximum of 15 days per year.
 
DSO also provides compassionate, marriage, paternity, sabbatical and examination leave.
 
 
Ensuring Employees’ Well-Being
 
By implementing strategies that promote worklife, DSO aims to increase staff morale, and has seen a corresponding increase in employee satisfaction over the years. Surveys conducted annually showed that staff are likely to continue working in DSO and would recommend others to join the company.
 
To address the issue of sick leave among staff, DSO noted that influenza was a common reason for its employees’ ill health. It then instituted a wellness programme to provide staff with free flu vaccinations, which was well-received.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
DSO staff can seek approval from their supervisors to start work at 8am, 8.30am or 9am. The company’s operating hours also end half an hour earlier on Friday than on other weekdays. These flexi-hour arrangements have helped the staff to better manage their schedules, and balance both work and personal responsibilities.
 
DSO supervisors are also empowered to respond to their staff’s requests for no-pay leave, flexible working hours and part-time employment. Employees need not fill up time-consuming hard copy forms, but can send their requests directly to their supervisors for approval via email.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
DSO’s Recreation Committee organises more than 60 activities each year, categorised into wellness, enrichment, sports, and special events.
 
Some of these activities are open to staff’s family members. Highlights include the Dinner & Dance, Family Day, National Day Celebration, Chinese New Year Celebration, as well as free movie screenings, health snack giveaways and recreational lunchtime talks.
 
Employee Quote
 
DSO research engineer, Ms Lee Chow Ying’s passionate pursuit off work is in ice-skating. She is a national ice skater with multiple local and international medals.
 
Said Chow Ying, “I’m grateful to my supervisor, who allows me to start work later on training days, so that I can train on the ice rink during off-peak hours when it is less crowded.”
 
 
To find out more about DSO, please visit: http://www.dso.org.sg
 
 
 
About Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
 
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) acts as an agent of the government to assess collect and enforce payment of taxes. IRAS also 

advises the government and represents Singapore internationally on matters relating to taxation. It hires 1,700 staff to fulfil its various functions.
 
To accomplish its vision to be a leading tax administrator in the world, IRAS believes in building an excellent team of competent and committed people. Its work-life policy is based on three pillars of time with Family/Friends, Work and Health; and programmes are designed to meet staff’s needs in these areas. As a result, attrition rates have dipped from 5.8 percent in 2004 to 4.9 percent in 2007; and employees have indicated satisfaction in working for the company. IRAS won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit - Spouse hospitalisation and Eldercare Leave
IRAS supports employees’ roles in their respective families by introducing time-off for staff to attend to spouse hospitalisation and eldercare needs. This allowed staff to continue caring for their spouse and elders even after they have exhausted their vacation leave. Staff may take up to 2 days of time-off for eldercare and 3 days for spouse hospitalisation within a year.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – 5-Day Work-Week and Staggered Hours
IRAS is in the business of providing frontline service, thus it needs to organise its work schemes without compromising its service to the public. The organisation introduced a 5-day work-week in 2004 in which frontline staff work only one Saturday each month and take the following Monday off.
 
IRAS also allows its staff to report for work at different times – 8 am, 8.30 am and 9 am. With this flexibility, working parents can send their children to school and come to work on time.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Benefits. IRAS introduced a flexible benefits scheme whereby officers can claim for costs incurred in health screenings, personal development courses, insurance, computer equipment and travelling on a co-share basis. The scheme was introduced based on findings from an employee needs survey. Its wide scope of coverage allows IRAS to meet the diverse needs of staff. For example, staff can make use of the Flexible Benefit funds for health screenings and vaccinations; or attend recreational and enrichment courses. About 80 percent of the fund has been utilised since the scheme was launched. The scheme is reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains relevant to the needs of the staff.
 
To find out more about IRAS, please visit: http://www.iras.gov.sg
 
 
 
About NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd
 
NTUC First Campus is a community of teachers, parents and early childhood professionals working together to bring out the best in each child. NTUC First Campus was established as NTUC Childcare in 1977 and became a co-operative in 1992. It has an extensive network of more than 50 pre-schools and a staff of over 1,000 dedicated professionals who are all passionate and committed to achieving the best for each child.
 
Because of the labour-intensive nature of the pre-school industry, the smooth operation of its childcare centres is heavily reliant on the active engagement of staff. The management recognises that happy employees make for engaged employees and make continuous efforts to build a culture where colleagues readily help each other and work as a team. NTUC First Campus reported a steady decline in staff turnover and medical leave taken. NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award in 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
On top of statutory annual leave, all NTUC First Campus employees are entitled to a generous range of special leave every year. This “special leave” applies to caring for sick children, elderly parents and their in-laws. Other non-core leave benefits include singles, marriage, paternity and compassionate leave. Since the implementation of this special leave arrangement, the management has received favourable feedback from staff about this benefit.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
Staff in the main office and RTRC Asia non-trainers can opt to start work at 8.30 am or 9.00 am. Staff at childcare centres can opt to commence work on shifts staggered at 30 minute intervals starting from 7.00 am, subject to operational constraints. As the childcare centres operate from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm, this rostering of staff ensures sufficient manpower during operational hours.
 
Employee Support Schemes – Fitness Schemes
 
NTUC First Campus offers an array of health and wellness programmes, including $100 of flexible benefits annually which staff can claim for health and wellness services such as prescriptive eyewear, fitness club memberships, holiday expenses and dental treatments. NTUC First Campus has also made arrangements with Alexandra Hospital to offer on-site health screening for staff at their respective centres. The cost is totally borne by NTUC First Campus. Staff are then issued with individual medical reports, thus helping them be more aware of their health status.
 
To find out more about NTUC Childcare, please visit: http://www.ntuc-childcare.com

 

Emergency Leave Definition

You may grant your employee paid or unpaid urgent leave that he/she has to take at the last minute due to emergencies. 

 

Extended Childcaare Leave Definition

There are times when your employees would need additional time-off, over and above the statutory requirements, to care for their young children. You may decide whether the Extended Childcare Leave be fully paid, part-paid or unpaid leave. You may also decide on the duration of the leave. 

 

Extended 
Maternity Leave

Success Stories

Extended Maternity Leave

 

Definition

 

There are times when your female employees may need additional time-off over and above the statutory provisions due to pregnancy and childbirth. Extended Maternity Leave may be fully paid, part-paid or unpaid

 leave and the duration is different from one organisation to another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success Stories
 
 
About Megachem Limited
 
Megachem is a global specialty chemical solutions provider established in Singapore in 1988. It also manufactures proprietary chemicals tailored to customers’ needs. Megachem employs 173 staff in 10 countries, and has 73 employees in its Singapore office. Despite competitive workforce demand, Megachem is upbeat about its staff turnover rates that had dropped from 10 percent in 2005 to 2 percent in 2007. The company feels that this is an affirmation of their work-life strategies.
 
Megachem was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Leave Benefit - Extended Maternity Leave
 
In addition to the traditional leave benefits such as annual, medical and marriage leave, Megachem also provides childcare leave, compassionate leave, paternity leave, dependent care leave and sabbatical or career break leave. It also offers paid extended maternity leave of 1.5 months to first-time mothers and mothers who are coping with their babies’ health issues.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Telecommuting
 
Staff can request for a telecommuting arrangement on case-to-case basis. Since 2006, 3 employees have taken up the option. To encourage mobility and communication, all sales staff and selected Heads of Departments are issued Blackberry devices. Support staff at senior executive levels are provided with laptops.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Megachem has set-up a special recreation committee to take charge of the social and team-building aspects within the company. Every year, a budget is allocated for the committee to manage its planned activities for the year. Megachem also hired a work-life consultant to help enhance its work-life programmes. A change management team was also formed to improve the existing systems, processes and workflows. Senior management organises monthly coffee sessions with the staff to discuss wide ranging topics from work to personal matters. The purpose of these sessions is to get a better understanding of employees’ needs, improve employee-management relationships and give employees the opportunity to feedback to management. The senior management has helped to organise and participated in several company recreation and health events, thus role modelling for the rest of the corporation the importance of work-life balance.
 
To find out more about Megachem, please visit: http://www.megachem.com.sg

 

Childcare / Eldercare /
Family-care Leave

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
There are times when your employees are faced with a special need to take care of their family members. 
 
The difference between Familycare Leave and childcare/eldercare leave is that it covers more family members, e.g. older children for whom childcare leave no longer applies, an employee’s siblings or grandchildren, etc. You may determine the range of Familycare Leave for your organisation.
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)
 
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today's economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skills-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for all workers - young and older, from rank and file to professionals and executives - to upgrade and advance in their careers and lives.
 
As the lead agency for workforce development, WDA places great emphasis on and engages in work-life initiatives through conducting regular staff profiling exercises and gathering of feedback among its 400 employees. Benefits are then packaged to cater to the unique needs of its staff profile. Healthy lifestyle initiatives such as sports day, regular runs and health-screening sessions have also resulted in reduction of medical leave taken from 4 percent in 2005 to 2.8 percent in 2006, and the agency was given the Singapore Health Award in 2006. WDA has been commended on its sustained programmes to heighten work-life balance and its established committee for staff welfare. It was presented with the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
 
Eldercare Leave. Other than childcare, compassionate and marriage leave, WDA introduced the eldercare leave where employees are allowed to take leave to look after their parents or parents-in-law when they fall sick or to accompany them for medical appointments. WDA is one of the earlier statutory boards to introduce this scheme.
 
Birthday Leave. Employees are also granted 1 day of birthday leave. The birthday leave is to be taken on their birthday or within 1 week before or after their birthday. The birthday leave has been well-received and highly utilised by its employees.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours and Telecommuting
 
WDA offers staggered working hours to its employees. This means that employees are given the option to commence work at half-hourly intervals from 7.30am to 9.30am. An officer who enters office at 7.30am can thus leave as early as 5pm on a typical working day. Divisional directors are empowered to approve their staff’s preferred working hours, which makes subscription to staggered working hours more flexible and easy.
 
Majority of its employees are also provided with laptops with remote access to facilitate telecommuting. A small percentage of those without laptops with remote access are also able to request for it on an ad hoc basis.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
In-house Occupational Health Unit - NatSteel’s Occupational Health Unit (OHU) is staffed with trained nurses and a full-time doctor to provide occupational health services. In addition, OHU organises workplace health programmes such as physical fitness assessments and annual health screening, as well as regular health and family talks and workshops on topics such as weight management, cholesterol lowering and smoking cessation. Employees who have attended the health talks and workshops gave positive feedback; they now have a better understanding of illnesses and health management.
 
NatSteel also subsidises lunch-time exercise programmes such as yoga and aerobics, as well as off-site sports activities such as soccer, tennis and squash. On top of the annual Family Day, NatSteel also organises bowling, fishing, cycling and farm tours for its staff.
 
To find out more about WDA, please visit: http://www.wda.gov.sg
 
 
 
About DSO National Laboratories
 
DSO National Laboratories is Singapore's national defence research and development organisation. As one of Singapore’s top research institutions, DSO fuses its multi-disciplinary expertise to develop secret-edge technological surprises for our nation’s defence. Many of the mission-critical systems in the Singapore Armed Forces today bear the invisible imprint of its work, across the domains of air, land, sea and cyberspace.
 
Out of a workforce of close to 1,500 staff, the organisation has over 1,000 research scientists and engineers. DSO’s people and their passion for their work are the organisation’s cornerstones to developing innovations that transform Singapore from the ‘Little’, to the ‘Lethal’ Red Dot. Thus, retaining talent is key to DSO’s success.
 
DSO National Laboratories was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit - Family Care Leave and Child Sick Leave
 
On top of statutory leave, every staff is entitled to 2 days of family care leave per calendar year.
 
Family care leave was implemented to encourage staff to spend more time with their families, as well as provide them the flexibility to attend to family emergencies. In addition, employees with children are entitled to 5 days of child sick leave per year for each child under 7 years of age, up to a maximum of 15 days per year.
 
DSO also provides compassionate, marriage, paternity, sabbatical and examination leave.
 
Ensuring Employees’ Well-Being
 
By implementing strategies that promote worklife, DSO aims to increase staff morale, and has seen a corresponding increase in employee satisfaction over the years. Surveys conducted annually showed that staff are likely to continue working in DSO and would recommend others to join the company.
 
To address the issue of sick leave among staff, DSO noted that influenza was a common reason for its employees’ ill health. It then instituted a wellness programme to provide staff with free flu vaccinations, which was well-received.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
DSO staff can seek approval from their supervisors to start work at 8am, 8.30am or 9am. The company’s operating hours also end half an hour earlier on Friday than on other weekdays. These flexi-hour arrangements have helped the staff to better manage their schedules, and balance both work and personal responsibilities.
 
DSO supervisors are also empowered to respond to their staff’s requests for no-pay leave, flexible working hours and part-time employment. Employees need not fill up time-consuming hard copy forms, but can send their requests directly to their supervisors for approval via email.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
DSO’s Recreation Committee organises more than 60 activities each year, categorised into wellness, enrichment, sports, and special events.
 
Some of these activities are open to staff’s family members. Highlights include the Dinner & Dance, Family Day, National Day Celebration, Chinese New Year Celebration, as well as free movie screenings, health snack giveaways and recreational lunchtime talks.
 
Employee Quote
 
DSO research engineer, Ms Lee Chow Ying’s passionate pursuit off work is in ice-skating. She is a national ice skater with multiple local and international medals.
 
Said Chow Ying, “I’m grateful to my supervisor, who allows me to start work later on training days, so that I can train on the ice rink during off-peak hours when it is less crowded.”
 
To find out more about DSO, please visit: http://www.dso.org.sg
 
 
About Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
 
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) acts as an agent of the government to assess collect and enforce payment of taxes. IRAS also advises the government and represents Singapore internationally on matters relating to taxation. It hires 1,700 staff to fulfil its various functions.
 
To accomplish its vision to be a leading tax administrator in the world, IRAS believes in building an excellent team of competent and committed people. Its work-life policy is based on three pillars of time with Family/Friends, Work and Health; and programmes are designed to meet staff’s needs in these areas. As a result, attrition rates have dipped from 5.8 percent in 2004 to 4.9 percent in 2007; and employees have indicated satisfaction in working for the company. IRAS won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit - Spouse hospitalisation and Eldercare Leave
 
IRAS supports employees’ roles in their respective families by introducing time-off for staff to attend to spouse hospitalisation and eldercare needs. This allowed staff to continue caring for their spouse and elders even after they have exhausted their vacation leave. Staff may take up to 2 days of time-off for eldercare and 3 days for spouse hospitalisation within a year.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – 5-Day Work-Week and Staggered Hours
 
IRAS is in the business of providing frontline service, thus it needs to organise its work schemes without compromising its service to the public. The organisation introduced a 5-day work-week in 2004 in which frontline staff work only one Saturday each month and take the following Monday off.
 
IRAS also allows its staff to report for work at different times – 8 am, 8.30 am and 9 am. With this flexibility, working parents can send their children to school and come to work on time.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Benefits. IRAS introduced a flexible benefits scheme whereby officers can claim for costs incurred in health screenings, personal development courses, insurance, computer equipment and travelling on a co-share basis. The scheme was introduced based on findings from an employee needs survey. Its wide scope of coverage allows IRAS to meet the diverse needs of staff. For example, staff can make use of the Flexible Benefit funds for health screenings and vaccinations; or attend recreational and enrichment courses. About 80 percent of the fund has been utilised since the scheme was launched. The scheme is reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains relevant to the needs of the staff.
 
To find out more about IRAS, please visit: http://www.iras.gov.sg
 
 
About NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd
 
NTUC First Campus is a community of teachers, parents and early childhood professionals working together to bring out the best in each child. NTUC First Campus was established as NTUC Childcare in 1977 and became a co-operative in 1992. It has an extensive network of more than 50 pre-schools and a staff of over 1,000 dedicated professionals who are all passionate and committed to achieving the best for each child.
 
Because of the labour-intensive nature of the pre-school industry, the smooth operation of its childcare centres is heavily reliant on the active engagement of staff. The management recognises that happy employees make for engaged employees and make continuous efforts to build a culture where colleagues readily help each other and work as a team. NTUC First Campus reported a steady decline in staff turnover and medical leave taken. NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award in 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
 
On top of statutory annual leave, all NTUC First Campus employees are entitled to a generous range of special leave every year. This “special leave” applies to caring for sick children, elderly parents and their in-laws. Other non-core leave benefits include singles, marriage, paternity and compassionate leave. Since the implementation of this special leave arrangement, the management has received favourable feedback from staff about this benefit.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
Staff in the main office and RTRC Asia non-trainers can opt to start work at 8.30 am or 9.00 am. Staff at childcare centres can opt to commence work on shifts staggered at 30 minute intervals starting from 7.00 am, subject to operational constraints. As the childcare centres operate from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm, this rostering of staff ensures sufficient manpower during operational hours.
 
Employee Support Schemes – Fitness Schemes
 
NTUC First Campus offers an array of health and wellness programmes, including $100 of flexible benefits annually which staff can claim for health and wellness services such as prescriptive eyewear, fitness club memberships, holiday expenses and dental treatments. NTUC First Campus has also made arrangements with Alexandra Hospital to offer on-site health screening for staff at their respective centres. The cost is totally borne by NTUC First Campus. Staff are then issued with individual medical reports, thus helping them be more aware of their health status.
 
To find out more about NTUC Childcare, please visit: http://www.ntuc-childcare.com

 

First Day of
School Leave

Success Stories

 
Definition


 
 
Your employees who have school-going children will appreciate the First Day of School Leave. This refers to time-off you may give your employees to bring their children back to school after the holidays, e.g. 2nd January. This may range from a few hours off to a full-day so that parents can pick their children up after school as well.

 

 

 

 

Success Stories
 
 
About Public Service Division,
Prime Minister’s Office
 
The Public Service Division (PSD) sets policies for attracting and developing public sector talent and leadership, as well as ongoing training programmes. PSD analyses the potential impact of future trends on Singapore, develops strategic planning capabilities and helps shape whole-of-government policy. There are 9 departments in the organisation with a workforce of about 240 staff.
 
The senior management’s leadership by example has contributed to the success of work-life in PSD. The Permanent Secretary is a keen advocate of work-life; she regularly discusses work-life issues with line managers and staff, and emails work and life opinions in her “A Thought To Share” column. The Deputy Secretary (Policy) pays close attention to Employee Lifestyle surveys and holds meetings with middle and line managers to improve productivity and reduce work stress.
 
PSD’s work-life strategies have proven results with lowered consumption of medical leave and decreased staff turnover. Public Service Division was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Telecommuting
 
PSD recognises that its officers need to balance work and personal commitments. Thus, it accommodates arrangements whereby officers can apply to telecommute from home if this does not conflict with their job responsibilities. For example, Strategic Planning Office workers work from home once a week as their work is mainly research-based. This enhances their effectiveness as they need to work long hours but not necessarily in the office. Officers are also allowed to telecommute on ad hoc basis, for example when they need to attend to sick family members. Heads of Department are given the authority to approve telecommuting requests; and this has increased the efficiency of processing such requests.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Workplace Health Programme. PSD has a dedicated Workplace Health Programme (WHP) Committee with members from different departments to ensure maximum outreach to all staff. The committee has organised biennial health screening and fitness assessment exercises; regular fruits distribution and workshops on health and personal development issues.
 
Activity Interest Groups. This is an innovative programme which enables staff with similar interests to get together for joint activities once a week during office hours. The activities cover a wide range of interests, like yoga, taichi, bellydancing, brisk walking, running, swimming, and even book review sessions and photography. The fees of such activities are partly subsidised. At least 20 percent of the staff have participated in an Activity Interest Group.
 
Family Movie Passes. To promote family bonding, staff are given movie passes during school holidays or festive periods.
 
Back to School with Parents. Time-off is given to parents to bring their children to school during the first week of school in January. This is in line with PSD’s initiative to encourage positive parenting and help ease parents’ anxieties/stress about their young school-going children.
 
Employee Quote
 
“I appreciate the option to telecommute once a week. Flexibility, sense of autonomy, reduced commuting time and improved productivity are just some of the benefits. To me, the most appealing aspect of this arrangement is the mutual trust, respect and goodwill between enlightened bosses and staff. It really does not matter that I only manage to telecommute once a month or even less, due to meetings. What is important is knowing that I can exercise this option whenever necessary and that our bosses trust us and we will ensure the trust is reciprocated.”
Pei Ling, Strategic Policy Department
 
To find out more about PSD, please visit: http://www.psd.gov.sg
 
 
 
About Yayasan MENDAKI
 
Yayasan MENDAKI is a self help group focussing on educational excellence in the Malay/Muslim community. Yayasan MENDAKI has 81 employees. Due to the nature of MENDAKI’s services, many staff have to work on weekends although 80 percent are women with families. As such, MENDAKI understands the need for family-friendly initiatives to be put in place. After work-life strategies were implemented, MENDAKI registered a low turnover of 2 percent in 2007. Health measures are also adequate, as evidenced by the 15 employees who did not take sick leave at all throughout 2006 and 2007. They were rewarded with a Zero MC Award. More specific feedback came through the Climate Survey 2006 in which over 80 percent of staff indicated that MENDAKI is a family friendly organisation, they felt their supervisors understood them, and that they were satisfied and felt motivated at their posts. In 2007, all contract staff were promoted to permanent positions because MENDAKI wanted to provide its employees job security and to retain talent.
 
Yayasan MENDAKI won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
 
Besides standard leave prescribed by the Employment Act and pilgrimage leave, MENDAKI offers a flexible range of leave benefits of up to 15 days a year. Married staff with children can opt to take the First Day of School off or Maid in Absence leave, while single staff can take a day’s leave on their birthday.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Flexi Hours and Telecommuting
 
MENDAKI practises a 5-day work-week and telecommuting. Almost half of the staff have taken up the option of flexi hours and staff can request for a half day work arrangement. Furthermore, the management is open to requests for flexible arrangements or no-pay leave in the event of family or personal crises. Covering officers take over the duties of the staff on leave so as to ensure that work flow is not interrupted.
 
Employee Support Schemes
Health Programmes. MENDAKI has an appointed Staff Recreation Committee (SRC) that organises activities like weekly aerobics, BBQ for Bonding, Walk-A-Jog and Cycling. The company was awarded the Gold H.E.A.L.T.H Award by Health Promotion Board in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. The company also participates in activities with other agencies such as the Community Engagement Games Day organised by the National Council of Churches of Singapore. Not resting on its laurels, the SRC has planned a weight management programme that incorporates exercise and diet for MENDAKI staff.
 
Staff Lounge. Budget was set aside to create a relaxation lounge. Staff were also invited to submit design ideas for the lounge and de-stressing room so that it would truly cater to their needs.
 
To find out more about Yayasan MENDAKI, please visit: http://www.mendaki.org.sg

 

Marriage Leave Definition

Congratulations! Your employees are getting married! You may give your employees marriage leave at your discretion. Marriage Leave is usually fully paid leave; but you may decide for it to be part-paid or unpaid if the leave you granted is for an extended period of time.

 

Maternity Leave Definition

This refers to the time off work that you give to your employees due to pregnancy and childbirth. Learn more about the statutory requirements on maternity leave

 

Paternity Leave Definition

Your employee is a new Dad! He will appreciate time to bond with his newborn. You may give employees who are new fathers some time-off to take care of their newborns. You may exercise your discretion in granting this leave. Paternity Leave is usually fully paid leave; but you may decide for it to be part-paid or unpaid if the leave you granted is for an extended period of time.

 

Personal Day Leave

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
You may grant your employees a day off which they can spend celebrating personal events, e.g. birthday, anniversary, etc. This is commonly paid leave over and above their annual leave entitlement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About National Heart Centre of Singapore
 
The National Heart Centre (NHC) of Singapore Pte Ltd is the national referral centre for cardiovascular diseases in Singapore with 185 in-patient beds and comprising over 700 healthcare staff. It has the largest team of heart specialists locally.
 
Observing that one third of its staff is above 40 years old, NHC actively sends its mature staff for the SingHealth’s Silver Connection programme. It also fervently rolls out its “Arrows with SoulTM” programme to enhance staff’s personal work-life effectiveness. Besides enriching the staff individually, the management wants to demonstrate the value it places on its staff and to retain the rich experience of mature workers. NHC has been achieving low attrition rate since 2002, while improving service quality and financial strength.
 
National Heart Centre Singapore was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefits - Birthday Leave
 
NHC affirms and treats its employees to a day’s leave on their birthdays and presents them with a birthday gift and card personally signed by the Medical Director.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
SingHealth Silver Connection Programme. One third of NHC staff are above 40, thus the Centre proactively participates in the SingHealth Silver Connection Programme which has a customised a 2.5 day Personal Effectiveness and Financial Planning workshop specifically for matured workers.
 
Arrows with SoulTM Programme. The SingHealth Silver Connection Programme dovetails into NHC’s work-life programme “Arrows with SoulTM”. This programme helps employees see the importance of integrating work, family and self and to take charge of their lives. The management has received positive feedback from staff after the launch of the 2 programmes.
 
New programmes are constantly being planned every year to help staff enhance their work-life effectiveness.
 
Employee Quote
 
“I attended the Arrows with Soul course in 2006. The course was a stepping stone that made me reflect into what has been going on in my life. I realised that, while I busied myself with work, I had neglected other important areas like social life, self-enrichment and spiritual and physical aspects. From the exercises, I reorganised my focus to balance in the various areas.
 
Now, I am glad to say that I have a challenging job in NHC, and I am learning piano (something which I have always wanted to do). I joined a gym last year and started exercising, attend church for spiritual/religious support, and most importantly, I spend quality time with my loved ones. I still keep the bottle from the course activity in my office so that it serves as a reminder to me!”
Ms Angela Ho, Manager in Medical Records Office
 
To find out more about NHC, please visit: http://www.nhc.com.sg
 
 
About Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)
 
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) enhances the competitiveness of our workforce by encouraging workers to learn for life and advance with skills. In today's economy, most jobs require not just knowledge, but also skills. WDA collaborates with employers, industry associations, the Union and training organisations, to develop and strengthen the Continuing Education and Training system that is skills-based, open and accessible, as a mainstream pathway for all workers - young and older, from rank and file to professionals and executives - to upgrade and advance in their careers and lives.
 
As the lead agency for workforce development, WDA places great emphasis on and engages in work-life initiatives through conducting regular staff profiling exercises and gathering of feedback among its 400 employees. Benefits are then packaged to cater to the unique needs of its staff profile. Healthy lifestyle initiatives such as sports day, regular runs and health-screening sessions have also resulted in reduction of medical leave taken from 4 percent in 2005 to 2.8 percent in 2006, and the agency was given the Singapore Health Award in 2006. WDA has been commended on its sustained programmes to heighten work-life balance and its established committee for staff welfare. It was presented with the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Flexi work Telecommuting
 
WDA offers staggered working hours to its employees. This means that employees are given the option to commence work at half-hourly intervals from 7.30am to 9.30am. An officer who enters office at 7.30am can thus leave as early as 5pm on a typical working day. Divisional directors are empowered to approve their staff’s preferred working hours, which makes subscription to staggered working hours more flexible and easy.
 
Majority of its employees are also provided with laptops with remote access to facilitate telecommuting. A small percentage of those without laptops with remote access are also able to request for it on an ad hoc basis.
 
Leave Benefits - Extra Leave Benefits
 
Eldercare Leave. Other than childcare, compassionate and marriage leave, WDA introduced the eldercare leave where employees are allowed to take leave to look after their parents or parents-in-law when they fall sick or to accompany them for medical appointments. WDA is one of the earlier statutory boards to introduce this scheme.
 
Birthday Leave. Employees are also granted 1 day of birthday leave. The birthday leave is to be taken on their birthday or within 1 week before or after their birthday. The birthday leave has been well-received and highly utilised by its employees.
 
To find out more about WDA, please visit: http://www.wda.gov.sg

 

Sabbatical /
Career Break Leave

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
There are times when your employee desires to further his/her studies full-time or pursue an interest or embark on a project that will require him to take a longer time-off, i.e. a few months or a few years. For this, you may grant a Sabbatical Leave which may be fully paid, part-paid or unpaid.
 
Some organisations provide their employees with paid sabbatical leave after a period of service, e.g. one month after every 5 years of service. Your employee’s return from Sabbatical Leave is considered a continuation of his/her employment, and not a resignation. 
 
 
 
About Purple Sage Pte Ltd
 
Purple Sage is a party caterer with fusion cuisine, setup and service. It offers convenience to clients as a ‘one-stop’ service by helping them 

source for party venues, music and entertainment. Purple Sage has also ventured into the regional market, starting with Beijing. The local office is manned by 52 full-time employees and 15 part-time employees. Within a year of implementing work-life initiatives, employees’ retention rate had improved from 81 to 85 percent. Part-time employees have also returned to Purple Sage to work full time after completing their studies. Purple Sage was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit – Non Core Leave
 
Sabbatical Leave. Heads of Departments can take up to 10 days of sabbatical leave a year to spend time with family or take up enrichment courses for upgrading of skills. This benefit will be extended to all full-time employees.
 
Study Leave. Full-time employees who take up an education support scheme with Purple Sage can apply for study leave to prepare for examinations. In addition, Purple Sage offers educational financial assistance to employees. This work-life programme has been well received by the employees.
 
Other leave benefits offered by Purple Sage include marriage, childcare, maternity, paternity, emergency, compassionate and child adoption leave.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Selected management staff are given Blackberrys to facilitate telecommuting. Some employees are also issued laptops to facilitate work at remote areas.
 
Employee Support Schemes – Health
 
Health Initiatives. Purple Sage has a fitness membership with a hotel close to the office. Employees can therefore enjoy the hotel’s gymnasium, steam-room, swimming pool and fitness classes during lunch time or after work. 80 percent of the staff have capitalised on this benefit. There are also complimentary on-site health screening and regular health talks. The staff pantry is stocked with healthy items like yogurt, cholesterol-free chips and cereal. Kitchen and operations teams are given complimentary staff meals. The workers appreciate this thoughtfulness as they save on time and lunch money, especially foreign employees who need to remit their allowance to their home countries.
 
Empowerment. Purple Sage has a training budget that allows selected employees to improve their skills in media, sales, languages, culinary and wine appreciation courses, etc. Performing employees are given the opportunity to gain experience in Purple Sage’s Beijing office or to participate in overseas exhibitions. Staff are empowered to handle project budgets where they can decide the allocation of funds. Staff are also empowered to offer discounts whenever appropriate.
 
Company Events. Purple Sage organises bonding events such as its anniversary retreat at Johor Bahru, movie nights, laser quest, paintball, bowling and Christmas parties. More than 95 percent of staff participate in these events. Families are also invited to the Movie Nights and complimentary snacks are provided by Purple Sage. Employees and immediate family members enjoy generous discounts when they cater or buy flowers from the company.
 
Flexi benefits. Purple Sage is aware that one benefit cannot fit all, so a flexi benefit of $300 is given to middle management employees for claims regarding childcare assistance, dental and surgical services, IT products, or other services. The process of claiming is hassle-free as submissions are made together with month-end official claims.
 
To find out more about Purple Sage, please visit: http://www.purplesage.com.sg
 
 
 
About NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd
 
With over 3,500 employees in seven countries, NatSteel Holdings is one of the largest steel producers in the Asia Pacific. In Singapore - the regional headquarters - where about 1,500 staff are employed, NatSteel’s work-life strategies have proven to be effective. Not only has employee retention improved, with staff staying for nine years or more on average, absenteeism has also dropped and productivity increased.
 
For its work-life efforts, NatSteel was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award in 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
 
Bereavement / Compassionate leave - On the demise of family members, employees are granted up to a maximum of ten days’ compassionate leave in a year.
Marriage leave - Newlyweds enjoy six days of paid marriage leave.
Paternity leave - New fathers can celebrate new births (up to the third child) with two days of paid leave.
 
Study / Exam leave - Staff on company-sponsored courses can take one-day leave to prepare for their examinations. 
Renewal leave - This is granted on a case-by-case basis for employees who need a sabbatical to refresh themselves. 
Corporate Social Responsibility leave - Staff are given one-day leave to participate in company-organised charitable activities for its adopted charities.
Emergency leave / Unrecorded time-off - Employees are able to claim emergency leave for family and personal matters.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
NatSteel allows its sales and marketing staff the freedom to work away from office, using mobile phones to access the internet, intranet and other in-house systems to facilitate their work.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
In-house Occupational Health Unit - NatSteel’s Occupational Health Unit (OHU) is staffed with trained nurses and a full-time doctor to provide occupational health services. In addition, OHU organises workplace health programmes such as physical fitness assessments and annual health screening, as well as regular health and family talks and workshops on topics such as weight management, cholesterol lowering and smoking cessation. Employees who have attended the health talks and workshops gave positive feedback; they now have a better understanding of illnesses and health management.
 
NatSteel also subsidises lunch-time exercise programmes such as yoga and aerobics, as well as off-site sports activities such as soccer, tennis and squash. On top of the annual Family Day, NatSteel also organises bowling, fishing, cycling and farm tours for its staff.
 
To find out more about Natsteel, please visit: http://www.natsteel.com.sg 
 
Work-Life Snapshots
 
 
Joining in New Year Party games together with their department staff - Vice President for Production, Mr Chong Pek Hoong (left picture, third from left), and Senior Vice President for InfoTech Services, Mr Lur Boon Kwee (right picture, second from right).
 
 
Mr Narendran (extreme right), President & CEO, learning to make mooncakes during the Mooncake Festival Celebration. 
 
 
Leading employees towards a healthier lifestyle - Mr Narendran (second from right) participating in simple exercises at the Healthy Weight Campaign Launch 
 
 
Mr Narendran (first row, centre) joining in the warm-up exercises on Family Day 08, together with his wife (first row, extreme right) and Senior Vice President for Operations (Systems), Mr Eng Poh Tzan (first row, extreme left)

 

Study/Exam Leave Definition

To support your employees who are pursuing their education, you may grant them Study/Exam Leave. This may be paid, part-paid or unpaid and will be given to employees who need to take time off to study for and/or take an examination.

 

Unrecorded Time Off

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
You may grant your employees paid time-off in lieu for overtime work or working on a day off. 
 
 
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About KPMG
 
KPMG provides audit, tax, financial and risk advisory services, with offices in 145 countries and more than 123,000 professionals worldwide. Its local office has 2,000 professionals and staff. Through its work-life strategies, it has seen a significant improvement in staff engagement scores and an 8 percent decrease in staff turnover in 2007. Heartening was the improvement in staff attendance at work-life events like the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Run and on-site health screening organised by the company.
 
KPMG was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Leave Benefit - No Pay Leave
 
The firm has put in place an electronic leave system so employees can more effectively manage their leave applications online. In addition, all annual and overtime leave have a 12-month utilisation period from the time it is earned and does not expire by 31 December yearly. KPMG has inculcated a culture where supervisors and employees respect leave and plan work schedules around it. A 260-hour overtime cap which had been previously implemented to encourage work-life balance was lifted in January 2008 as it was no longer needed.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Many of the professional staff have been equipped with Blackberry devices or provided sponsored wireless broadband access from home. As their job nature requires them to be off-site and travel overseas, providing such telecommunication equipment and infrastructure greatly facilitates and motivates them. The take-up rate for Blackberry devices was 91 percent, demonstrating that the initiative was practical and welcomed by employees.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
The People Management Leaders (PML) programme was implemented in 2007 with the goal of creating a winning, supportive and happy environment for KPMG. PML brings together human resource personnel and line managers to design programmes that make working hours more efficient, reduce staff turnover and increase staff engagement. This has resulted in higher utilisation of leave, reduction in overtime hours and active participation in work-life programmes.
 
To find out more about KPMG, please visit: http://www.kpmg.com.sg

 

Voluntary Service Leave

Success Stories

Voluntary Service Leave

 

Definition

 

By granting your employees Voluntary Service Leave you are allowing them to take time-off for community service for specific welfare organisations which may have been “adopted” by the company. This may be fully paid, partially paid or unpaid leave.

 

Success Stories

 

Cargill

 

About Cargill Group of Companies

A complaint was received by TAFEP concerning a job advertisement by a logistics firm which said it only wanted to hire men.

After being approached by TAFEP, the firm eventually understood that it was the ability to move boxes that was relevant to the job, and not the employee’s gender. The job advertisement was amended and the company agreed to consider hiring women although they had not previously done so.

To create a more inclusive environment, the company also introduced part-time shift hours and educated its male employees on appropriate workplace behaviour, such as being appropriately dressed at all times.

The firm’s eventual hiring of more women was a win-win outcome – helping the firm meet their workforce need and also providing income to these female employees. A learning point for the company was that effectively tapping on women for their operational needs was not just about amending their advertisement or agreeing to consider hiring women. Putting in place inclusive workplace practices was just as important.

Employee Support Schemes
 
Health Benefits. Health-screening benefits are available to all employees and an annual screening is part of the core benefits. Cargill also appointed the St. Gregory Fitness Centre as its corporate fitness provider. Furthermore Cargill participates regularly in the annual JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. As an incentive, the company pays the participation fees and provides T-shirts for its runners. At the 2008 event over 40 Cargill employees took part. Senior management leads by example for the two health schemes. They frequent St. Gregory Fitness Centre during lunch breaks and after hours and take part in the Corporate Challenge. This has encouraged many of the employees to participate as well.
 
Family Benefits. Employees can claim up to S$3,000 in maternity benefits to subsidise their delivery or post-natal expenses. This initiative was introduced in line with the Nation’s promotion of marriage and procreation. Every year, Cargill also hosts a Family Day event outside Singapore and pays the accommodation and transport expenses for its employees and their families. Past events have taken place at the Holiday Inn in Batam, and Pulai Springs in Johor Bahru, among others.
 
Community Programmes. Volunteerism is an integral part of Cargill’s corporate culture, and is coordinated through employee-led Cargill Cares Councils. In Singapore, up to 60 employees at a time participate in a range of meaningful initiatives including care for the elderly, helping to build schools and teaching kids as well as fund raising. The Cargill management fully supports these initiatives, and employees are allowed time off from work to take part in such activities. Active volunteers are recognised through the annual Volunteer of the Year award.
 
“Ensuring work-life balance for employees is an important goal for Cargill. We think it makes good business sense to enable employees to fully participate in both their work and family life. We promote a healthy life style and family-oriented activities, and extend the benefits we provide to family members as a platform for employee engagement. We actively support our employees to bring their families and loved ones to company sponsored events such as our yearly Family Day. 
Bram Klaeijsen, Regional Director, Cargill Asia-Pacific
 
To find out more about Cargill, please visit: http://www.cargill.com/worldwide/singapore.htm
 
Success Stories
 
 
About NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd
 
With over 3,500 employees in seven countries, NatSteel Holdings is one of the largest steel producers in the Asia Pacific. In Singapore - the regional headquarters - where about 1,500 staff are employed, NatSteel’s work-wlife strategies have proven to be effective. Not only has employee retention improved, with staff staying for nine years or more on average, absenteeism has also dropped and productivity increased.
 
For its work-life efforts, NatSteel was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award in 2008.
 
Leave Benefit
 
  • Bereavement / Compassionate leave - On the demise of family members, employees are granted up to a maximum of ten days’ compassionate leave in a year.
  • Marriage leave - Newlyweds enjoy six days of paid marriage leave.
  • Paternity leave - New fathers can celebrate new births (up to the third child) with two days of paid leave.
  • Study / Exam leave - Staff on company-sponsored courses can take one-day leave to prepare for their examinations. 
  • Renewal leave - This is granted on a case-by-case basis for employees who need a sabbatical to refresh themselves. 
  • Corporate Social Responsibility leave - Staff are given one-day leave to participate in company-organised charitable activities for its adopted charities.
  • Emergency leave / Unrecorded time-off - Employees are able to claim emergency leave for family and personal matters.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
NatSteel allows its sales and marketing staff the freedom to work away from office, using mobile phones to access the internet, intranet and other in-house systems to facilitate their work.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
In-house Occupational Health Unit - NatSteel’s Occupational Health Unit (OHU) is staffed with trained nurses and a full-time doctor to provide occupational health services. In addition, OHU organises workplace health programmes such as physical fitness assessments and annual health screening, as well as regular health and family talks and workshops on topics such as weight management, cholesterol lowering and smoking cessation. Employees who have attended the health talks and workshops gave positive feedback; they now have a better understanding of illnesses and health management.
 
NatSteel also subsidises lunch-time exercise programmes such as yoga and aerobics, as well as off-site sports activities such as soccer, tennis and squash. On top of the annual Family Day, NatSteel also organises bowling, fishing, cycling and farm tours for its staff.
 
To find out more about Natsteel, please visit: http://www.natsteel.com.sg 

 

Employee support schemes help employees manage the non-work aspects of their lives. Here are some ideas you can work into your organisation.

Bring Children To Work Day

Success Stories

Bring Your Child to Work Day

 

Definition

Coordinate an occasion when your employees can bring their children to work. This allows your employees’ children to have a glimpse of their parent’s working environment and have a better understanding of the kind of work they do. Typically, you can provide child-friendly programmes and activities such as magic shows, movie screening, food fests, and the like.

 

Success Stories
 
 
About Singapore Power Group
 
Singapore Power Group (SP) owns and operates electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses in Singapore and Australia. International industry indices rate SP’s electricity grid in Singapore among the world’s best performing networks, with the fewest and shortest power outages of cities worldwide. SP has about 2,700 staff in Singapore. We are committed to providing reliable and efficient energy utility services to our customers through operational excellence and enhancing people capabilities.
 
SP nurtures our staff’s work-life balance so that they lead healthy and meaningful lives. This has in turn enhanced workplace safety, as seen in the increased number of “no-incident” days, and helped SP clinched two Work Life Achiever Awards from the Ministry of Manpower in 2006 and 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Quality Life Programme (QLP).SP advocates the holistic well-being of its employees including their health, social and personal development, career and finance, through an integrated programme called QLP. Activities ranging from talks to sports are organised to help our staff better manage work-life issues and lead an active lifestyle.
 
Employees with health risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity, are equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to manage their health through various health intervention programmes including cholesterol management, healthy eating and weight management. The Cholesterol Management Programme, for example, is a programme provided free to staff to help them lower their blood cholesterol through regular exercise, workshops and talks on fitness, food and nutrition counselling.
 
The QLP has been effective in reducing the number of staff going on medical leave and increasing the number of employees with zero medical leave in a year.
 
Flexible Benefits (FLEX). SP employees are given $750 of FLEX dollars each year which they can spend on their lifestyle needs, for example, payment of children’s education including child care centres and pre-schools, insurance premiums, preventive healthcare, outpatient medical, dental, holiday and fitness expenses.
 
Facilities. SParkz is a cosy staff lounge where employees relax and interact over food and games. It is equipped with audio and visual facilities for small group gatherings and functions.
 
SP Club serves the health, social and recreational needs of employees and their family members. Besides offering sports amenities like gym, badminton courts and dance studio, it also organises fitness classes, recreational and self-enrichment activities for the benefit of our employees.
 
A lactation room is conveniently available for use by female staff who are breastfeeding.
 
SP’s e-facilities such as the Enterprise Portal make it quick and easy for staff to learn about and sign up for new QLP events. Its online monthly staff newsletter, eSP, further promotes work-life balance by featuring QLP and SP Club events.
 
Family-oriented activities. SP organises an annual Family Day event where families, colleagues and management staff gather for an exciting day of fun and activities.
 
Leave Benefits - Non Statutory Leave
 
To help employees cope with life’s changing and unexpected demands, SP provides up to seven days of special leave a year including matrimonial, paternity, compassionate and examination leave. Eligible working mothers with 3 or more children below 6 years old can claim up to 15 days of paid unrecorded childcare leave, of which 6 are government-paid and extended to eligible male employees.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements - Flexi Hours and Part Time
SP’s flexible work arrangements cater to the diverse needs of our employees and promote work-life balance. Subject to exigencies of work, employees can choose from four staggered commencing times. Working mothers can request for part-time employment of 21 or 28 hours a week to help them better manage work and family demands.
 
Employee Quote
 
“The activities under Cholesterol Management Programme are a great motivation. I managed to lower my cholesterol to a desired level halfway through the programme.” 
Gertrude Gomez, Executive Assistant, SP Services
 
“The Cholesterol Management Programme has improved my fitness level and helped me develop good dietary habits. With regular exercise, my body is now able to take on a high intensity aerobic workout. I feel healthier too.” 
Krishnaraj Murugaiah, Technical Officer, SP PowerGrid
 
To find out more about Singapore Power, please visit: http://www.singaporepower.com.sg

 

Bursaries

Success Stories

Bursaries

Definition

Your care for your employees can also be extended to their families, by granting them bursaries for achieving academic excellence. This monetary benefit acts as an incentive to encourage them to continue to value their education.

 

Success Stories

 

SP Consulting

 

About SP Consulting (International)


SP Consulting (International) Pte Ltd provides management consultancy and training services. Its 10 full-time staff help clients to improve their business effectiveness and competitive edge. It has portfolios in standards-based consultancy, specialised management consultancy and human capital and training. SP Consulting believes in practising what is in its training manuals, thus its work-life measures have resulted in 90 percent satisfaction among employees and an overall customer satisfaction rating of 82.2 percent. SP Consulting goes beyond conducting employee surveys to gathering feedback from families. Spouses of staff have responded with 90 percent rating for staff morale.
 
SP Consulting has been awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Company Resources. SP Consulting allows its staff to utilise certain company equipment like its photocopier, camera, laptop and scanner and even its Rainbow vacuum cleaner for the benefit of their families. The families have given enthusiastic feedback and the company was able to get optimal usage out of its equipment.
 
Study Awards. Since last year, SP Consulting started the practice of giving study awards to the children of their employees, from kindergarten to university. This promotes a greater sense of belonging and family members appreciate the well-wishes of the company.
 
Company events. SP Consulting regularly organises annual retreats, festival celebrations, outings, company lunches and corporate social service activities. Families are invited for some of these gatherings. The company also supports national family friendly programmes like Eat with Your Family Day and First Day of School Leave.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting and Flexi Hours
 
Telecommuting is an important part of the SP Consulting work-life strategy. Consultants can work from home and use Key Performance Indicators to maintain their output. Administrative staff are also given the benefit of flexibility as they manage their own commencing and ending times according to their needs. SP Consulting’s success factor is the clear key performance measurements of revenue, delivery, customer feedback and constant communication with headquarters. Not only did the employees express satisfaction with the flexi arrangements; their spouses have also given positive feedback to SP Consulting. One quantifiable benefit the company reaps is the efficient use of office space, as telecommuting staff share work areas.
 
To find out more about SP Consulting, please visit: http://www.spgp.com
 
 
Success Stories
 
About Land Transport Authority
 
Land Transport Authority is a statutory board that strategises transport development and the long-term transport needs of Singapore. 3,479 staff serve the board’s master plan to build a People-Centred Land Transport system that is efficient and cost effective. LTA’s work-life strategy makes provisions to help staff lead a balanced lifestyle at different life-stages. As a result, LTA’s corporate health profile has improved despite its mature workforce, for example the number of staff with high cholesterol has dropped. Medical leave taken by staff has remained at a consistent low of about 4 days per year for each employee.
 
For its work-life policies, Land Transport Authority won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Retention of Mature Staff. LTA values its mature workers and encourages extension of service beyond retirement. Mature workers may be offered continued contract renewal based on performance, potential and job availability. These mature workers remain eligible for a performance bonus past retirement age. They are also eligible for promotion based on their performance and potential, not on their age. LTA also taps on its mature workers’ wealth of knowledge and experience by engaging them as mentors to coach younger officers. LTA invests in continual training and development for mature staff. An example was enrolling mature technical/junior staff in Employability Skills System (ESS) training with Workforce Development Agency (WDA). This helps them update their work skills and demonstrates the organisation’s faith in them.
 
LTA also takes advantage of NTUC’s Senior Employability Guidance (SEG) to prepare mature workers above 50 years old for the social and physiological changes that comes with age and helps them stay relevant and employable. To-date, 122 staff aged 50 years and above have attended the SEG programme. As employees have to remain fit for the job, LTA has customised medical programmes such as targeted screenings and health talks for its mature workers. Organised activities such as taiji and yoga are also provided.
 
As a result of its programmes, LTA has increased its number of re-employed mature workers.
 
Students’ bursaries. LTA also awards bursaries to children of staff. The company has since revised its bursary quantum upward for the Primary and Secondary levels in demonstration of its support for the welfare of lower income staff. 169 bursaries were awarded in 2008 alone.
 
Leave Benefit
 
Half Day Childcare Leave. Staff who need to bring sick children to the doctor need only take half day of childcare leave; in this way, they can maximise their childcare leave. Staff with children below 7 years old are granted an additional 2 days of non-medical childcare leave to spend time with their children.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting and Staggered Hours
 
LTA offers part-time employment, staggered hours and telecommuting schemes for staff. Staff on these schemes are able to manage their personal commitments without compromising their work. They can now incorporate their children’s school schedules, prepare meals for their family, attend evening classes or care for their elderly.
 
Employee Quote
 
“Working at the age of 62 has kept me physically and mentally healthy. My bosses and colleagues value my experience and expertise despite my age.”
A mature LTA employee
 
“My younger colleagues look upon me as a mentor, and approach me for advice and guidance from time to time.”
A mature LTA employee
 
To find out more about LTA, please visit: http://www.lta.gov.sg

 

 

Childcare Arrangements
 

Success Stories

 
Definition

In order to address concerns of your employees with young children whilst they are at work, you may conduct special arrangements that deal with childcare matters.
 
You may consider having on-site childcare centres or have before/after school programmes or centres situated around your company. You may also obtain discounts for enrolment in childcare centres island-wide for your staff’s children.
 

 

Success Stories
 
 
About Morning Star Community Services
 
Morning Star Community Services offers family life education, student care services, counselling, community outreach, learning support services, school-based social work and social work services for inmates and their families. 26 employees and 50 volunteers staff 6 offices around Singapore, including 2 prisons. The nature of work in the social services can be emotionally taxing, for example counselling dysfunctional families, group work with inmates and managing children, and staff are more susceptible to burn-out. Work-life balance is critical for the organisation’s success and smooth operation.
 
Morning Star Community Services was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
Staff are encouraged to participate in Morning Star’s programmes developed for the community, such as Couple Power, Work Love Harmony, Common Sense Parenting, Understanding Teen Sexuality and parent-child camps at a subsidised rate. This encourages family bonding and facilitates a more effective family life. The management also walks the talk by taking part in community events with their families.
 
Staff with primary school children enjoy a 50 percent subsidy if they place their children in the organisation’s Student Care Services. Teenage children can also use the centre’s facilities free of charge. Staff who are facing challenges may take advantage of the in-house professional counselling services.
 
Leave Benefit
 
In addition to annual leave, Morning Star grants 3 days leave for bereavement, marriage and paternity leave. Staff with elderly parents or have children less than 12 years old can claim 5 days of dependant care leave. The organisation’s long service award also contains the unique benefit of 5 extra days of leave so staff can take a retreat and recreate themselves.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Senior programme staff who have demonstrated their reliability and initiative are given the option to telecommute and work flexi hours as long as they meet the required number of counselling and training sessions and programmes developed. Office staff are given the benefit of flexi start and end times as long as they synchronise with colleagues to ensure that the office is manned during operational hours.
 
Morning Star supplies lunch at the centres so that only half an hour is allocated for lunch and staff can leave work half an hour earlier. When Morning Star’s staff strength increased, the Saturday shift work schedule was reviewed and a once a month Saturday shift was implemented.
 
Employee Example
 
Mrs Juliana Choo was a full-time Social Worker with fixed office hours until the birth of her fifth child in 2000. She found it difficult to cope with work and family commitments. Morning Star worked out a flexi-time and flexi-place arrangement for her. With more time for her family, Juliana was able to be more effective in counselling and family life training. She went on to develop new programmes such as Work-Life, couple workshops and parenting workshops. After 2 years, Juliana was able to resume full-time work as a Principal Social Worker while still on a flexi-time and flexi-place arrangement. This scheme has enabled the organisation to retain an experienced and professional senior staff.
 
To find out more about Morning Star, please visit: http://www.morningstar.org.sg
 
 
 
 
About Alexandra Hospital
 
Alexandra Hospital (AH) is a 400-bed general and acute care hospital. It has a full range of specialist outpatient clinics. In total, the hospital has about 1,800 staff to meet its goal of providing patient-centred quality healthcare for the people in Singapore.
 
As a leading healthcare provider, AH is fully aware of the need to retain and nurture its skilled workforce. Patient satisfaction surveys highly commend the hospital’s service and quality, thus giving strong endorsement to its work-life strategy. Employee survey results also show that staff are satisfied with their working conditions and relationships. As a result of its efforts, AH won the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Health for Older Persons or ‘HOP@Work’. AH took note of its increasing number of mature workers and responded with work-life programmes catered for this age group. It utilised government funds from the Advantage! 


Scheme to implement ‘HOP@Work’. Under this programme, mature workers receive health assessments and intervention programmes like Weight Management, Hypertension Management and Fall Prevention. Active Aging programmes like line-dancing, brisk walking and even gardening are organised to help mature workers keep fit. AH also shares its ‘HOP@Work’ experience with other companies to help them better manage their mature workers’ work-life demands.
 
Childcare Centre. AH’s on-site childcare centre is a great convenience to its employees. Staff no longer need to travel long distances to fetch their children. Complementing this service is the AH childcare subsidy, which makes the childcare service even more affordable for staff. In addition to regular day care, the centre also provides "childcare on demand", an hourly childcare service for parents who have ad hoc commitments beyond regular hours. The Hospital also organises children’s wellness workshops and picnics in the park for staff and their children.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Compressed Work Week
 
AH noted that inpatient nurses, who make up 30 percent of its workforce, are mostly female and married. A work-life scheme was created to make it possible for nurses to work an extra 45 minutes per shift in order to gain an extra day off every fortnight to spend more time with their families. Nurse Managers have also made efforts to roster duties which enable nurses to take turns to enjoy a weekend off. Nurses have expressed their appreciation of the scheme; they feedback that they now have more time for their families and feel happier and more motivated at work. The scheme has also contributed to the hospital’s success in retaining women in its workforce.
 
 
Employee Quotes
 
“The nurses were overjoyed when the compressed work week was implemented in the wards. This work-life initiative has benefited my nurses with an extra rest day; my nurses are more energetic at work. I have also noted that the MC rate in my ward has improved as there has been a five to ten percent decrease since the compressed work week was implemented.” 
Ms Sujata Rajaram, Nurse Manager
 
“The on-site childcare centre offers not only great convenience but also financial support with the subsidy given by the hospital. The work-life incentives given to staff have been a great support in managing our worklife demands.” 
Ms Siti Yunizah Binte Mohamed Yunos, Pharmacy Assistant
 
“This programme has raised awareness and motivated me to be more conscious of my health and lifestyle. Acknowledging the importance, I have even started to form a brisk walking club with fellow mature colleagues to promote healthy lifestyle for mature workers in the hospital.” 
Madam Low Ngor Koon, a Project Specialist
 
To find out more about Alexandra Hospital, please visit: http://www.alexhosp.com.sg

 

Childcare / Eldercare
 

Success Stories

 
Definition
 

You can ease the financial obligations of your staff with young children by giving them discounts or monetary benefits. By giving them childcare subsidies, you can show your understanding that such arrangements are needed as they have to work.

 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Apex-Pal International Ltd.
 
Apex-Pal International Ltd owns retail stores like Sakae Sushi, Sakae Teppanyaki, Hei Sushi, Nouvelle Events, Crepes & Cream, Hibiki Restaurant and Kohiten as well as a catering business. It manages more than 80 outlets in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. The local office has 1,300 employees.
 


Its work-life measures have enhanced the company’s corporate image and attracted more job seekers. Staff turnover has also dropped to below the F&B industry average. The company was also able to retain its female staff returning from maternity leave. As a result, there is less need for recruitment and retraining which amounted to savings of 5% a year. Overall, the company was able to reduce absenteeism, tardiness and medical leave.
 
Apex-Pal won the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 


Company Outings. Apex-Pal organises health screenings, health talks, subsidised exercise programmes, Family Day, bowling tournaments, and overseas incentive trips for colleagues and their families.
 
Baby Allowance & Childcare Subsidies. Every confirmed employee is entitled to a gift of $300 for his/her newborn baby, as well as a $100 per month childcare subsidy. This benefit is applicable for the first three children up to six years old.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Compressed Workweek and Flexi Hours
 
Employees from all levels can choose their start and end times, subject to approval. Full-time employees may go on a flexi-work arrangement to attend to family needs. The company implemented a Biometric time attendance system in all outlets which tracks flexible work schedules and reduces administrative paperwork. This automated system facilitates requests for flexible work shifts and helps the company to plan ahead for part-time help. The system also frees up supervisors’ time from monitoring staff attendance.
 
Employee Quote
“With these work-life programmes and benefits in place, they enhance the company’s competitiveness by attracting and retaining talent, skilled and experienced workers, including married and mature employees.” 
- Ms May Foo, Vice President of Group HR & Capability Development
 
To find out more about Apex-Pal, please visit: http://www.apexpal.com
 

 

Concierge Services / Employee Benefits and Discounts
 

Success Stories

Concierge Service
 

Definition

 

To help your employees with their errands, you can tie up with concierge service providers and/or subsidise such services. This way, the needs of your employees in fulfilling necessary business operations can be addressed sufficiently.
 
Some examples of concierge services include banking of cheques, courier services, sourcing/booking of movie tickets, restaurant reservation, posting of letters, etc. 
 

 

Success Stories
 
 
About Banyan Tree Holdings Limited
 
Banyan Tree Holdings Limited develops and manages 23 premium resorts and hotels, 65 spas, 65 retail galleries and 2 golf courses. Banyan Tree employs 310 staff. The company utilises 

its resources to offer its staff Vacation Rejuvenation Benefits. More than half of the staff have taken up this benefit and have given good feedback. Banyan Tree has shown consistently low turnover, with a high employee commitment level of 81.6 percent of the staff.
 
Banyan Tree won the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Honeymoon Benefit. When confirmed Banyan Tree staff get married, they receive the perk of a complimentary 3-night stay at any of the company’s properties. In addition, the couple is given a cash gift of US$500.
 
Complimentary Hotel Stay. Each employee is awarded a US$2,000 to US$5,000 worth of hotel stays every year on Banyan Tree properties. This benefit promotes family bonding; it can be accumulated over two years so that the employee and his or her family can enjoy an extended vacation.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi-Time, Part-Time, Job Sharing and Telecommuting
 
Banyan Tree has a mix of flexible work arrangements which includes flexi-hours, telecommuting, part-time and job sharing. Teams are empowered to schedule their team roster so as to benefit from flexi-time while maintaining smooth operations of the company’s properties and services. The company does not practise formal tracking of employees’ company time and prefers, instead, to trust and empower them.
 
Employee Quote
 
“A winning organisation addresses the work-life needs of its employees, and in doing so, realises the benefit of efficiency and productivity via an empowered and enabled workforce.”
- Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President
 
To find out more about Banyan Tree, please visit: http://www.banyantree.com

 

 
About CapitaLand Limited
 
CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest real estate companies. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, the multinational company’s core businesses in real estate, hospitality and real estate financial services span about 120 cities in over 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. CapitaLand’s subsidiaries and associates include Australand, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommerical Trust, Ascott Residence Trust and CapitaRetail China Trust. Its local office hires 1,502 workers. Its work-life programme supports its credo “Building for People to Build People, Building People to Build for People”. CapitaLand was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
HAPPY (Holiday Accommodation Provided for You) is a holiday scheme implemented to reward staff with a recreation break. Staff can claim up to 4 nights of free accommodation at an Ascott property or up to a limit of $500 each year. Part-time staff can also enjoy this benefit pro-rated accordingly.
 
Total Well Being Programme. Employees can utilise the health screening packages available through Capitaland’s flexible benefits programme as well as annual free health screenings and influenza vaccinations. There are also wellness activities like exercise classes, talks on weight management and cholesterol levels. Mental health activities include talks on conflict management and art therapy. Staff can also sign up for gym memberships at corporate rates. The President and CEO endorses these programmes and promotes them through his emails with staff.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
Staff are empowered to choose their daily working hours, within broad management-set limits. They also have the option to choose from three daily start times -- 8 am, 8.30 am or 9 am. Staff have responded enthusiastically to this flexible arrangement.
 
To find out more about Capitaland, please visit: http://www.capitaland.com/home.php
 
 
 
About Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel
 
Sheraton Towers Singapore is a five-star hotel located within ten minutes of the shopping hub. It has 412 elegantly appointed rooms serviced by 331 trained staff. The Hotel emphasises teamwork, and this is evident in their work-life policy. An increasing number of employees have indicated satisfaction with the Hotel’s work-life programmes. Its turnover rate is lower than the national and industry average. The Hotel gives Perfect Attendance Awards and the number of recipients has increased in 2007 and 2008. The amount of medical leave taken has also decreased.
 
Sheraton Towers is the only hotel to have won the Work-Life Excellence Award in 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Sheraton Sparkies. The athletic committee in the Hotel has earned the nickname “Sheraton Sparkies”. Representatives from all departments sit in the committee to ensure maximum co-operation and awareness building of the many activities the committee organises. The tagline is “Make Fitness Fun”. Sparkies usually sends a big team to the Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) annual Athletic Meet and participates in the various events of the meet. In the last two years, Sheraton Towers has consistently won third place in the SHA Athletic Meet.
 
Family events. Family-oriented company activities include Movie Day, Visit to Henderson Home for the Senior Citizens and “Eat with Your Family Day”.
 
Discounted Hotel Rates. Employees enjoy special hotel rates when they stay at Sheraton’s sister properties overseas. This benefit is also extended to their immediate family members even when the employee is not travelling with them.
 
Manager’s Quote
 
“Our associates’ overall well-being plays an important part in enabling the Hotel to achieve its business success. Since the launch of the work-life programme, we have seen a tremendous improvement in associates’ health and productivity.”
- Mr Steven Long, General Manager of Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel
 
To find out more about Sheraton Towers, please visit: http://www.sheratonsingapore.com
 
 
 
 
About Morning Star Community Services
 
Morning Star Community Services offers family life education, student care services, counselling, community outreach, learning support services, school-based social work and social work services for inmates and their families. 26 employees and 50 volunteers staff 6 offices around Singapore, including 2 prisons. The nature of work in the social services can be emotionally taxing, for example counselling dysfunctional families, group work with inmates and managing children, and staff are more susceptible to burn-out. Work-life balance is critical for the organisation’s success and smooth operation.
 
Morning Star Community Services was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Staff are encouraged to participate in Morning Star’s programmes developed for the community, such as Couple Power, Work Love Harmony, Common Sense Parenting, Understanding Teen Sexuality and parent-child camps at a subsidised rate. This encourages family bonding and facilitates a more effective family life. The management also walks the talk by taking part in community events with their families.
 
Staff with primary school children enjoy a 50 percent subsidy if they place their children in the organisation’s Student Care Services. Teenage children can also use the centre’s facilities free of charge. Staff who are facing challenges may take advantage of the in-house professional counselling services.
 
Leave Benefit
 
In addition to annual leave, Morning Star grants 3 days leave for bereavement, marriage and paternity leave. Staff with elderly parents or have children less than 12 years old can claim 5 days of dependant care leave. The organisation’s long service award also contains the unique benefit of 5 extra days of leave so staff can take a retreat and recreate themselves.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Senior programme staff who have demonstrated their reliability and initiative are given the option to telecommute and work flexi hours as long as they meet the required number of counselling and training sessions and programmes developed. Office staff are given the benefit of flexi start and end times as long as they synchronise with colleagues to ensure that the office is manned during operational hours.
 
Morning Star supplies lunch at the centres so that only half an hour is allocated for lunch and staff can leave work half an hour earlier. When Morning Star’s staff strength increased, the Saturday shift work schedule was reviewed and a once a month Saturday shift was implemented.
 
Employee Example
 
Mrs Juliana Choo was a full-time Social Worker with fixed office hours until the birth of her fifth child in 2000. She found it difficult to cope with work and family commitments. Morning Star worked out a flexi-time and flexi-place arrangement for her. With more time for her family, Juliana was able to be more effective in counselling and family life training. She went on to develop new programmes such as Work-Life, couple workshops and parenting workshops. After 2 years, Juliana was able to resume full-time work as a Principal Social Worker while still on a flexi-time and flexi-place arrangement. This scheme has enabled the organisation to retain an experienced and professional senior staff.
 
To find out more about Morning Star, please visit: http://www.morningstar.org.sg

 

Corporate Gym Membership
Definition
 
Alternatively, you may also support your employees’ physical fitness and wellness by signing up as a corporate member with a specific gym located near the office, or chain of gyms located across the island.
 
Your employees may use their staff identification card to gain entry into the gym and use the facilities. In some cases, entry is limited to a specific number of employees each day/per time period.

 

 

Corporate Membership for Recreational Activities & Attractions

Definition

Your organisation can register as a Corporate Member for Recreational Activities and places of attraction so that your employees and their families can visit them. Depending on the benefit, access to these attractions may either be at a discounted rate or for free.

 

Counselling Services / Hotline for Employee Assistance
 

Success Stories

 
 
Definition

Employees feeling pressured at work or home may need someone to talk to. You can help your employees deal with stress by providing specially arranged phone or personal consultations with a professional counsellor. 

 

 

Success Stories
 
 
About Morning Star Community Services
 
Morning Star Community Services offers family life education, student care services, counselling, community outreach, learning support services, school-based social work and social work services for inmates and their families. 26 employees and 50 volunteers staff 6 offices around Singapore, including 2 prisons. The nature of work in the social services can be emotionally taxing, for example counselling dysfunctional families, group work with inmates and managing children, and staff are more susceptible to burn-out. Work-life balance is critical for the organisation’s success and smooth operation.
Morning Star Community Services was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Staff are encouraged to participate in Morning Star’s programmes developed for the community, such as Couple Power, Work Love Harmony, Common Sense Parenting, Understanding Teen Sexuality and parent-child camps at a subsidised rate. This encourages family bonding and facilitates a more effective family life. The management also walks the talk by taking part in community events with their families.
 
Staff with primary school children enjoy a 50 percent subsidy if they place their children in the organisation’s Student Care Services. Teenage children can also use the centre’s facilities free of charge. Staff who are facing challenges may take advantage of the in-house professional counselling services.
 
Leave Benefit
 
In addition to annual leave, Morning Star grants 3 days leave for bereavement, marriage and paternity leave. Staff with elderly parents or have children less than 12 years old can claim 5 days of dependant care leave. The organisation’s long service award also contains the unique benefit of 5 extra days of leave so staff can take a retreat and recreate themselves.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Senior programme staff who have demonstrated their reliability and initiative are given the option to telecommute and work flexi hours as long as they meet the required number of counselling and training sessions and programmes developed. Office staff are given the benefit of flexi start and end times as long as they synchronise with colleagues to ensure that the office is manned during operational hours.
 
Morning Star supplies lunch at the centres so that only half an hour is allocated for lunch and staff can leave work half an hour earlier. When Morning Star’s staff strength increased, the Saturday shift work schedule was reviewed and a once a month Saturday shift was implemented.
 
 
Employee Example
 
Mrs Juliana Choo was a full-time Social Worker with fixed office hours until the birth of her fifth child in 2000. She found it difficult to cope with work and family commitments. Morning Star worked out a flexi-time and flexi-place arrangement for her. With more time for her family, Juliana was able to be more effective in counselling and family life training. She went on to develop new programmes such as Work-Life, couple workshops and parenting workshops. After 2 years, Juliana was able to resume full-time work as a Principal Social Worker while still on a flexi-time and flexi-place arrangement. This scheme has enabled the organisation to retain an experienced and professional senior staff.
 
To find out more about Morning Star, please visit: http://www.morningstar.org.sg

 

 

 
About NCS Pte. Ltd.
 
NCS is a leading information technology and communications engineering services provider with more than 7,000 staff located in 12 territories across the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions.
 
With proven international expertise in consulting, development, systems integration, outsourcing, infrastructure management and solutions, NCS delivers end-to-end solutions for every organisation’s technology needs.
 
NCS was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008. Its work-life efforts has contributed to happier and engaged employees in the workplace. Its 2008 overall staff engagement index has improved by 8 points as compared to previous year, trending above both the Singapore and Global High Tech Norms.
 
 
Leave Benefits – Family Care Leave
 
NCS goes beyond statutory requirements of providing every employee with an additional 6 days of Family Care Leave in a year. This leave can be utilised for marriage, paternity, compassionate or nursing sick family members. The Family Care Leave scheme is designed to cater to the different employee demographics to provide them with the flexibility of managing changing needs at different phases in their lives.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Employee Assistance Programme. The Employee Assistance Programme is one of the resources that NCS employees can tap on to help them cope better with stress on the work, domestic or personal front. Available to employees and their family members, the confidential and complimentary professional counselling service provides employees who are facing work-related or personal challenges, with the necessary support and assistance.
 
NCS Kopi-Tiam. NCS adopts a strategic and thematic approach towards the implementation of its health and wellness programmes. Through NCS Kopi-Tiam, staff are provided with insights on different aspects of health and well-being, from Osteoporosis, Weight Management to Mental Well-Being, at these monthly lunchtime sharing sessions. The theme-based elements are also reflected in the health giveaways for staff, ranging from milk, fruits to relaxing massages.
 
As part of the Leaders Series of NCS Kopi-Tiam, NCS Leaders are invited to share their personal experiences with staff on how they manage their busy work schedules with personal commitments. Besides providing staff with the platform for more interaction and communications with NCS Leaders, these sessions also reinforce management’s commitment to advocate work-life at NCS.
 
Work-Life Webpage. NCS has designed an on-line resource to provide staff with a holistic view of work-life initiatives. Through the 8 work-life tenets, the webpage is designed to provide staff with an encapsulation of the different programmes and initiatives to address the diverse needs of its workforce:
 
Our First Steps @ NCS – helps new staff to get up to speed in new environment and settle quickly into the NCS family
Our Network & Sharing – engages staff and disseminates important information; it also acts as platforms for staff to collaborate, learn and share professional knowledge, providing the needed support to one another
Our Team-Bonding – programmes, funds and awards which promote and support the NCS culture of teamwork and comradeship
Our Well-Being – supporting platforms and programmes that encourage and promote the health and well-being of our staff
Our Life-Style & Leisure – initiatives and programmes to provide staff with the personal space for lifestyle and leisure pursuits
Our Community – opportunities for staff to contribute and participate in various community services and activities
Our Facilities @ NCS – on-site facilities to allow staff to better manage the demands of work and their personal lives
Our Benefits – benefits supporting employee health and well-being
 
 
Employee Quote
 
Staff who have attended the NCS Kopi-Tiam lunch-time talks said:
“From the Kopi-Tiam talks, I was glad to hear our CEO’s insights and poignant anecdotes from his very own personal experiences, especially on harmonising the demands of work and life.”
Francis Chin, Portal City
 
“A very insightful session on Osteoporosis! I look forward to more of such health talks in the future!”
Mary Tan, Finance
 
Staff who have utilised the Family Care Leave scheme said:
“I am glad that I was able to spend quality time bonding with my baby. The childcare and family care leave benefit certainly comes in handy when I need time off to take care of my little one.”
Dawn Kng, Process Quality Management
 
 
To find out more about NCS, please visit: http://www.ncs.com.sg
 
 
 
 
 
About National Library Board
 
The National Library Board (NLB) has grown to a world-class library system. It manages 1 National Library, 3 Regional Libraries and 19 Community Libraries which are staffed by a total of 903 employees. Since implementation of work-life initiatives in 2004, surveys on employees’ job satisfaction and engagement have shown a gradual and heartening increase. Satisfaction has risen by 6 percent and engagement by 2 percent from 2006 to 2007.
 
National Library Board was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Employee Assistance Programme. NLB engaged an external professional Work-Life Coaching Service in 2008 to counsel and support staff in a confidential manner. Staff can tap on this resource in the event of trauma, relocation, work or family stress, legal or financial difficulties, questions about career development and people management. Since its implementation, an increasing number of employees are utilising this service.
 
Family oriented programmes. NLB organises Family Day, Sports Day, subsidised exercise programmes and health checks for its staff. Gifts are presented to newlyweds and new parents. 

NLB has also set up a budget for staff to claim for childcare and elder care.
 
 
Leave Benefits – Childcare Leave
 
Beyond the statutory requirements, staff can apply up to 5 additional days of childcare sick leave for each child below 12 years old. They are also provided paternity, bereavement and marriage leave benefits.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
The company instituted a 5-day work-week and flexi hours whereby all office staff can opt to start work at 8 am, 8.30 am, 9 am or 9.30 am and work the official number of hours. It gives individual staff the flexibility to choose their ideal working hours, for example, parents can choose an earlier timing so that they can leave the office early to pick up children from school or childcare.
 
To find out more about NLB, please visit: http://www.nlb.gov.sg

 

Cross-Functional Work-Life Committee
Definition
 

A Cross-Functional Work-Life Committee can help you get information about the needs of your staff from the participating departments and increase their participation in the various initiatives and activities you implement. Your Work-Life Committee may involve representatives across the various departments/functions within the organisation.

 

Drycleaning Services
Definition
 
If your employees are required to wear uniforms, then arranging for dry-cleaning services is helpful. These services can be done internally in your company, or by reputable service providers who can promptly pick-up and drop off the items.

 

 

Eat With Your Family Day Definition

The simple activity of eating with the family has far-reaching positive effects in building strong and happy homes. With the “Eat With Your Family Day” you can support your employees in establishing happy and strong homes by allowing them to leave the office at a specified time to have dinner with their family, e.g. 5pm.
 
In Singapore, this is usually an annual event, which falls on a Friday before the start of the mid-year school break for students and is organised by the Centre for Fathering, as part of National Family Week.
 
However, your organisation may choose to take this one step further and ha Eat-With-Your-Family Days on a more regular basis to encourage your employees to spend quality time over dinner with their parents, children and/or other family members. 

 

Eldercare Arrangements
Definition
 
Employees with elderly parents need to make special arrangements for their care. You can have special arrangements with eldercare centres and/or other related eldercare service providers to make sure that their elderly parents are receiving sufficient medical care and attention while they are at work.

 

Eldercare Subsidies

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
Another benefit you can offer to your employees is the Eldercare Subsidy, which helps with the cost of eldercare services. Financial help or price reductions for care of their elderly parents show that employers understand the needs of their employees.
 
 
 
Success Stories
 

 
About Apex-Pal International Ltd.
 
Apex-Pal International Ltd owns retail stores like Sakae Sushi, Sakae Teppanyaki, Hei Sushi, Nouvelle Events, Crepes & Cream, Hibiki Restaurant and Kohiten as well as a catering business. It manages more than 80 outlets in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. The local office has 1,300 employees.
 
Its work-life measures have enhanced the company’s corporate image and attracted more job seekers. Staff turnover has also dropped to below the F&B industry average. The company was also able to retain its female staff returning from maternity leave. As a result, there is less need for recruitment and retraining which amounted to savings of 5% a year. Overall, the company was able to reduce absenteeism, tardiness and medical leave.
 
Apex-Pal won the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 


Company Outings. Apex-Pal organises health screenings, health talks, subsidised exercise programmes, Family Day, bowling tournaments, and overseas incentive trips for colleagues and their families.
 
Baby Allowance & Childcare Subsidies. Every confirmed employee is entitled to a gift of $300 for his/her newborn baby, as well as a $100 per month childcare subsidy. This benefit is applicable for the first three children up to six years old.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Compressed Workweek & Flexi Hours
Employees from all levels can choose their start and end times, subject to approval. Full-time employees may go on a flexi-work arrangement to attend to family needs. The company implemented a Biometric time attendance system in all outlets which tracks flexible work schedules and reduces administrative paperwork. This automated system facilitates requests for flexible work shifts and helps the company to plan ahead for part-time help. The system also frees up supervisors’ time from monitoring staff attendance.
 
Employee Quote
 
“With these work-life programmes and benefits in place, they enhance the company’s competitiveness by attracting and retaining talent, skilled and experienced workers, including married and mature employees.” 
Ms May Foo, Vice President of Group HR & Capability Development
 
To find out more about Apex-Pal, please visit: http://www.apexpal.com

 

Concierge Services / Employee Benefits and Discounts
 

Success Stories

Employee Benefits & Discounts
 

Definition

 

As a way to support your employees, you may partner with the staff canteen vendor or an external vendor to provide takeaway food services for your employees and their families. Such services help your employees manage the responsibility of preparing meals for their family after returning home from work. 
 
Another good way of providing benefits to your employees is to extend your business operations to them for free or for a discounted rate. For instance, if you are running a pizza parlour, then your employees can get your pizza for half the price. 
 
Alternatively, you can tie up with external service providers and/or subsidise such services instead. A great example would be setting up an affiliation with retail outlets that offer exclusive discounts for your employees.
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Banyan Tree Holdings Limited
Banyan Tree Holdings Limited develops and manages 23 premium resorts and hotels, 65 spas, 65 retail galleries and 2 golf courses. Banyan Tree employs 310 staff. The company utilises 

its resources to offer its staff Vacation Rejuvenation Benefits. More than half of the staff have taken up this benefit and have given good feedback. Banyan Tree has shown consistently low turnover, with a high employee commitment level of 81.6 percent of the staff.
 
Banyan Tree won the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Honeymoon Benefit. When confirmed Banyan Tree staff get married, they receive the perk of a complimentary 3-night stay at any of the company’s properties. In addition, the couple is given a cash gift of US$500.
 
Complimentary Hotel Stay. Each employee is awarded a US$2,000 to US$5,000 worth of hotel stays every year on Banyan Tree properties. This benefit promotes family bonding; it can be accumulated over two years so that the employee and his or her family can enjoy an extended vacation.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi-Time, Part-Time, Job Sharing and Telecommuting
 
Banyan Tree has a mix of flexible work arrangements which includes flexi-hours, telecommuting, part-time and job sharing. Teams are empowered to schedule their team roster so as to benefit from flexi-time while maintaining smooth operations of the company’s properties and services. The company does not practise formal tracking of employees’ company time and prefers, instead, to trust and empower them.
 
Employee Quote
 
“A winning organisation addresses the work-life needs of its employees, and in doing so, realises the benefit of efficiency and productivity via an empowered and enabled workforce.”
- Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President
 
To find out more about Banyan Tree, please visit: http://www.banyantree.com

 

 

 
About CapitaLand Limited
 
CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest real estate companies. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, the multinational company’s core businesses in real estate, hospitality and real estate financial services span about 120 cities in over 20 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. CapitaLand’s subsidiaries and associates include Australand, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommerical Trust, Ascott Residence Trust and CapitaRetail China Trust. Its local office hires 1,502 workers. Its work-life programme supports its credo “Building for People to Build People, Building People to Build for People”. CapitaLand was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
HAPPY (Holiday Accommodation Provided for You) is a holiday scheme implemented to reward staff with a recreation break. Staff can claim up to 4 nights of free accommodation at an Ascott property or up to a limit of $500 each year. Part-time staff can also enjoy this benefit pro-rated accordingly.
 
Total Well Being Programme. Employees can utilise the health screening packages available through Capitaland’s flexible benefits programme as well as annual free health screenings and influenza vaccinations. There are also wellness activities like exercise classes, talks on weight management and cholesterol levels. Mental health activities include talks on conflict management and art therapy. Staff can also sign up for gym memberships at corporate rates. The President and CEO endorses these programmes and promotes them through his emails with staff.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
Staff are empowered to choose their daily working hours, within broad management-set limits. They also have the option to choose from three daily start times -- 8 am, 8.30 am or 9 am. Staff have responded enthusiastically to this flexible arrangement.
 
To find out more about Capitaland, please visit: http://www.capitaland.com/home.php
 
 
 
About Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel
 
Sheraton Towers Singapore is a five-star hotel located within ten minutes of the shopping hub. It has 412 elegantly appointed rooms serviced by 331 trained staff. The Hotel emphasises teamwork, and this is evident in their work-life policy. An increasing number of employees have indicated satisfaction with the Hotel’s work-life programmes. Its turnover rate is lower than the national and industry average. The Hotel gives Perfect Attendance Awards and the number of recipients has increased in 2007 and 2008. The amount of medical leave taken has also decreased.
 
Sheraton Towers is the only hotel to have won the Work-Life Excellence Award in 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Sheraton Sparkies. The athletic committee in the Hotel has earned the nickname “Sheraton Sparkies”. Representatives from all departments sit in the committee to ensure maximum co-operation and awareness building of the many activities the committee organises. The tagline is “Make Fitness Fun”. Sparkies usually sends a big team to the Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) annual Athletic Meet and participates in the various events of the meet. In the last two years, Sheraton Towers has consistently won third place in the SHA Athletic Meet.
 
Family events. Family-oriented company activities include Movie Day, Visit to Henderson Home for the Senior Citizens and “Eat with Your Family Day”.
 
Discounted Hotel Rates. Employees enjoy special hotel rates when they stay at Sheraton’s sister properties overseas. This benefit is also extended to their immediate family members even when the employee is not travelling with them.
 
Manager’s Quote
 
“Our associates’ overall well-being plays an important part in enabling the Hotel to achieve its business success. Since the launch of the work-life programme, we have seen a tremendous improvement in associates’ health and productivity.”
- Mr Steven Long, General Manager of Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel
 
To find out more about Sheraton Towers, please visit: http://www.sheratonsingapore.com
 
 
 
About Morning Star Community Services
 
Morning Star Community Services offers family life education, student care services, counselling, community outreach, learning support services, school-based social work and social work services for inmates and their families. 26 employees and 50 volunteers staff 6 offices around Singapore, including 2 prisons. The nature of work in the social services can be emotionally taxing, for example counselling dysfunctional families, group work with inmates and managing children, and staff are more susceptible to burn-out. Work-life balance is critical for the organisation’s success and smooth operation.
 
Morning Star Community Services was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Staff are encouraged to participate in Morning Star’s programmes developed for the community, such as Couple Power, Work Love Harmony, Common Sense Parenting, Understanding Teen Sexuality and parent-child camps at a subsidised rate. This encourages family bonding and facilitates a more effective family life. The management also walks the talk by taking part in community events with their families.
 
Staff with primary school children enjoy a 50 percent subsidy if they place their children in the organisation’s Student Care Services. Teenage children can also use the centre’s facilities free of charge. Staff who are facing challenges may take advantage of the in-house professional counselling services.
 
Leave Benefit
 
In addition to annual leave, Morning Star grants 3 days leave for bereavement, marriage and paternity leave. Staff with elderly parents or have children less than 12 years old can claim 5 days of dependant care leave. The organisation’s long service award also contains the unique benefit of 5 extra days of leave so staff can take a retreat and recreate themselves.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Senior programme staff who have demonstrated their reliability and initiative are given the option to telecommute and work flexi hours as long as they meet the required number of counselling and training sessions and programmes developed. Office staff are given the benefit of flexi start and end times as long as they synchronise with colleagues to ensure that the office is manned during operational hours.
 
Morning Star supplies lunch at the centres so that only half an hour is allocated for lunch and staff can leave work half an hour earlier. When Morning Star’s staff strength increased, the Saturday shift work schedule was reviewed and a once a month Saturday shift was implemented.
 
Employee Example
 
Mrs Juliana Choo was a full-time Social Worker with fixed office hours until the birth of her fifth child in 2000. She found it difficult to cope with work and family commitments. Morning Star worked out a flexi-time and flexi-place arrangement for her. With more time for her family, Juliana was able to be more effective in counselling and family life training. She went on to develop new programmes such as Work-Life, couple workshops and parenting workshops. After 2 years, Juliana was able to resume full-time work as a Principal Social Worker while still on a flexi-time and flexi-place arrangement. This scheme has enabled the organisation to retain an experienced and professional senior staff.
 
To find out more about Morning Star, please visit: http://www.morningstar.org.sg

 

Family Childcare Network
Definition
 
Family Childcare Network may refer to a subset of your organisation’s Family Information and Referral Services, i.e. the list of childcare providers; but where your organisation actively monitors the effectiveness of these childcare centres through feedback and information exchange For instance, employees who enroll their children in these childcare centres may provide feedback and the childcare centres in turn provide updates and information to parents through the organisation.
 
Organising a Family Childcare Network in your office provides a greater measure of comfort to your employees that their children are well taken care of while they are at work.

 

Family Day
 

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
All employees need to relax and have fun. Organise events that incorporate your employees’ work and their families in a casual atmosphere where they can be at ease and happy. You may offer sports and health events, tours to places of interest, or even trips abroad.
 
The aim of such events is to facilitate bonding between and amongst employees and their families, as well as encourage better working relationships among your employees, as this is a good way to have your employees and their families know each other better.
 

 

Success Stories
 
 
About Lucky Joint Construction Pte Ltd
 
Lucky Joint Construction is the market leader in underground telecommunication network, fibre and copper cable installation and termination, fibre splicing and blowing, building 

construction and Horizontal Direction Drilling (HDD). It has 212 staff serving in specialised roles. Lucky Joint’s vision to build strong bonds among its staff, customers and business partners is expressed in the values of respect, responsibility and responsiveness. These values form the backbone of Lucky Joint’s work-life programme. More than 90 percent of the employees have rated the programme favourable. Lucky Joint believes that its excellent programme has also contributed to the recruitment of 12 new employees through from employee referrals in the year, saving the company recruitment costs. The staff turnover rate has also been reduced by more than half from 2006 to 2007.
 
Lucky Joint won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Gathering Harmony. Lucky Joint believes that strong bonds with employees and clients can be built by creating more opportunities for its people to get together. The company organised its first Gathering Harmony in 2006, where employees and their families, as well as business associates, were treated to a time of food and fun. The company reported a greater sense of employee belonging since implementing Gathering Harmony. They received positive feedback from staff and family members on the event, as well as staff recognition and appreciation for the hard work put into organising it.
 
Lunar New Year & Family Day 2009. In 2009, the company celebrated the Lunar New Year and Family Day on 29th Jan where staff, family members, business partners and friends turned up to enjoy a 10-course dinner at its Kranji warehouse. The staff and their families were very enthusiastic gave feedback that they looked forward to more of such celebrations.
 
Bursary / Education Assistance Fund. The company awards annual bursaries to the children of employees ranging from $200 to $1,000 per child regardless of nationality and the parent’s designation in the company. Lucky Joint has awarded 22 bursaries amounting to a total of $12,200 in 2009 alone. This was an increase of 45% from the previous year and has been well received by staff.
 
Transport Scheme. Employees are allowed to use company transport (car, van, motor-cycle and lorry) for personal use like travelling to and from the office or for family errands. The company has 32 vehicles and all these are fully utilised by the employees. Expenses like road taxes, fuel and repair are borne by the company. Lucky Joint also owns pleasure craft which are available via reservation for use in family outings.
 
Lucky Joint also allows advance salary or loans on a case-by-case basis to employees whose families are in financial difficulty.
 
 
Employee Quotes
 
“Helping employees meet both work and home commitments will boost their morale, and in turn, increase efficiency and productivity. Ultimately, it is a win-win situation as both the employees and the company benefit.”
Mr. Yeow Kian Seng, Managing Director
 
“We feel great each time a staff gives us positive feedback and compliments us on a job well done. It is worth organising!”
Ms. Joanne Lee, Work-Life Ambassador
 
“I have never known a company that holds such events for employees and give bursaries to its employees’ children. The bursary award has really motivated my 2 children.”
Ronnel, Splicer
 
Lucky Joint’s company website is being re-designed and will be provided at a later date.
 
 
 

About Cargill Group of Companies
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 160,000 people in 67 countries. Singapore is Cargill’s Asia-Pacific headquarters, and the office currently has about 500 employees. Cargill Singapore is proud to have won the Singapore Ministry of Manpower’s Work-Life Excellence Award 2008. Cargill believes that engaged employees are the starting point for its success: They create partnerships with key stakeholders, develop the knowledge and leadership to anticipate needs and, when combined with a passion to innovate, deliver results for customers and Cargill. Thus, the company places top priority on building trust between employees and the organisation, and fostering a culture of openness and participation.
 
Cargill invites its employees to give input into the design of its work-life policies. As a result, programmes receive greater acceptance as employees themselves generate the ideas. This also contributes to lowering turnover rate and absenteeism, and even the number of employees claiming medical leave has declined. In regularly conducted Employee Engagement Surveys, Cargill’s employees express increased satisfaction with the quality of work-life in the company.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Health Benefits. Health-screening benefits are available to all employees and an annual screening is part of the core benefits. Cargill also appointed the St. Gregory Fitness Centre as its corporate fitness provider. Furthermore Cargill participates regularly in the annual JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. As an incentive, the company pays the participation fees and provides T-shirts for its runners. At the 2008 event over 40 Cargill employees took part. Senior management leads by example for the two health schemes. They frequent St. Gregory Fitness Centre during lunch breaks and after hours and take part in the Corporate Challenge. This has encouraged many of the employees to participate as well.
 
Family Benefits. Employees can claim up to S$3,000 in maternity benefits to subsidise their delivery or post-natal expenses. This initiative was introduced in line with the Nation’s promotion of marriage and procreation. Every year, Cargill also hosts a Family Day event outside Singapore and pays the accommodation and transport expenses for its employees and their families. Past events have taken place at the Holiday Inn in Batam, and Pulai Springs in Johor Bahru, among others.
 
Community Programmes. Volunteerism is an integral part of Cargill’s corporate culture, and is coordinated through employee-led Cargill Cares Councils. In Singapore, up to 60 employees at a time participate in a range of meaningful initiatives including care for the elderly, helping to build schools and teaching kids as well as fund raising. The Cargill management fully supports these initiatives, and employees are allowed time off from work to take part in such activities. Active volunteers are recognised through the annual Volunteer of the Year award.
 
Employee Quote
“Ensuring work-life balance for employees is an important goal for Cargill. We think it makes good business sense to enable employees to fully participate in both their work and family life. We promote a healthy life style and family-oriented activities, and extend the benefits we provide to family members as a platform for employee engagement. We actively support our employees to bring their families and loved ones to company sponsored events such as our yearly Family Day."
- Bram Klaeijsen, Regional Director, Cargill Asia-Pacific
 
To find out more about Cargill, please visit: http://www.cargill.com/worldwide/singapore.htm

 

Family Information and Referral Service
 

Success Stories 

 
You can draw together all family-related resources into a single and centralised system such as having a website or booklet, or a helpdesk/hotline.
 
This system includes wide selections of family-friendly attractions, a comprehensive list of childcare/eldercare service providers, or a list of reputable retail outlets where your employees can purchase child/family products at discounted price.
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Merrill Lynch & Co
 
Merrill Lynch is a global financial management firm dealing in financial planning, insurance trading, investment banking and a host of other services. It has offices in 40 countries and about 1,500 full- and part-time employees in Singapore.
 
Merrill Lynch & Co was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Employee Professional Networks. Merrill Lynch has established 4 types of professional networks in its offices in Singapore. The networks look into development, coaching and mentoring for its members, and events are organised on related topics. The Young Professionals Network (YPN) is unique to Asian offices, and was introduced to address generational diversity in the workplace and to engage and retain young talent - currently there are 320 members in Singapore and over 800 members across the region. The network organises monthly lunch talks with the firm’s leadership, giving opportunities for young professionals to interact with senior management. The network also supplies speakers for the E.y.E Investment Interactive Club, a student-managed investment club at Singapore Management University.
 
Online Help. Merrill Lynch offers WorkLife Essentials®, an online resource for staff and their families. It provides useful information on issues like stress management, childcare, elder care, and parenting issues.
 
Your Wellness Programme. This campaign is funded jointly with the Health Promotion Board and offers employees training and seminars on issues like nutrition, exercise, stress management and quitting smoking. There are also interesting outdoor activities like dragon boating and healthy food tours.
 
To find out more about Merrill Lynch, please visit: http://www.ml.com.
 
 
 
About NCS Pte. Ltd.
 
NCS is a leading information technology and communications engineering services provider with more than 7,000 staff located in 12 territories across the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions.
 
With proven international expertise in consulting, development, systems integration, outsourcing, infrastructure management and solutions, NCS delivers end-to-end solutions for every organisation’s technology needs.
 
NCS was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008. Its work-life efforts has contributed to happier and engaged employees in the workplace. Its 2008 overall staff engagement index has improved by 8 points as compared to previous year, trending above both the Singapore and Global High Tech Norms.
 
Leave Benefits
 
Family Care Leave. NCS goes beyond statutory requirements of providing every employee with an additional 6 days of Family Care Leave in a year. This leave can be utilised for marriage, paternity, compassionate or nursing sick family members. The Family Care Leave scheme is designed to cater to the different employee demographics to provide them with the flexibility of managing changing needs at different phases in their lives.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Employee Assistance Programme The Employee Assistance Programme is one of the resources that NCS employees can tap on to help them cope better with stress on the work, domestic or personal front. Available to employees and their family members, the confidential and complimentary professional counselling service provides employees who are facing work-related or personal challenges, with the necessary support and assistance.
 
NCS Kopi-Tiam NCS adopts a strategic and thematic approach towards the implementation of its health and wellness programmes. Through NCS Kopi-Tiam, staff are provided with insights on different aspects of health and well-being, from Osteoporosis, Weight Management to Mental Well-Being, at these monthly lunchtime sharing sessions. The theme-based elements are also reflected in the health giveaways for staff, ranging from milk, fruits to relaxing massages.
 
As part of the Leaders Series of NCS Kopi-Tiam, NCS Leaders are invited to share their personal experiences with staff on how they manage their busy work schedules with personal commitments. Besides providing staff with the platform for more interaction and communications with NCS Leaders, these sessions also reinforce management’s commitment to advocate work-life at NCS.
 
Work-Life Webpage NCS has designed an on-line resource to provide staff with a holistic view of work-life initiatives. Through the 8 work-life tenets, the webpage is designed to provide staff with an encapsulation of the different programmes and initiatives to address the diverse needs of its workforce:
 
Our First Steps @ NCS – helps new staff to get up to speed in new environment and settle quickly into the NCS family
Our Network & Sharing – engages staff and disseminates important information; it also acts as platforms for staff to collaborate, learn and share professional knowledge, providing the needed support to one another
Our Team-Bonding – programmes, funds and awards which promote and support the NCS culture of teamwork and comradeship
Our Well-Being – supporting platforms and programmes that encourage and promote the health and well-being of our staff
Our Life-Style & Leisure – initiatives and programmes to provide staff with the personal space for lifestyle and leisure pursuits
Our Community – opportunities for staff to contribute and participate in various community services and activities
Our Facilities @ NCS – on-site facilities to allow staff to better manage the demands of work and their personal lives
Our Benefits – benefits supporting employee health and well-being
 
Employee Quote
Staff who have attended the NCS Kopi-Tiam lunch-time talks said:
“From the Kopi-Tiam talks, I was glad to hear our CEO’s insights and poignant anecdotes from his very own personal experiences, especially on harmonising the demands of work and life.”
Francis Chin, Portal City
“A very insightful session on Osteoporosis! I look forward to more of such health talks in the future!”
Mary Tan, Finance
 
Staff who have utilised the Family Care Leave scheme said:
“I am glad that I was able to spend quality time bonding with my baby. The childcare and family care leave benefit certainly comes in handy when I need time off to take care of my little one.”
Dawn Kng, Process Quality Management
 
To find out more about NCS, please visit: http://www.ncs.com.sg
 

 

Family Life Ambassador Programme
 
Definition
 
Support your employees in building strong and stable families. The Family Life Ambassador Programme (FLA) advocates the forging of partnerships with community members to build strong and stable families. The FLA scheme aims to inculcate positive family values within members of the community and equip them with the necessary skills that would empower them to manage domestic issues primarily through preventive intervention.
 

 

Family Relocation Programme
 
 
Definition

 
It can be stressful to relocate overseas for work, especially if your employee already has a family. Save your employees from experiencing emotional and physical tensions through this programme. 
 
This programme may take the form of monetary benefits (for instance, when a spouse has to stop working in order to follow the employee and take care of the children), assistance (for example, settle housing arrangements, school enrolment, transport, tax advices, etc.), as well as counselling services to ensure that your employees and their families can easily adjust to the new environment.
 
 
 
Shell
 
About Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd
 
Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 2,100 staff in its Singapore office. Shell is a major corporate citizen of Singapore and actively participates in the economic well-being of the nation. Shell monitors its work-life strategies biennially. Since 2004, the trend is that more and more Shell personnel respond that they are able to balance their work and other commitments. Average sick leave and hospitalisation leave taken have also dropped. This further endorses the company’s work-life strategies. Shell Eastern Petroleum won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Lactation Rooms. These private rooms come equipped with breast pumps, refrigerators and comfortable seats for breastfeeding mothers. It started with one room in the head office, but now 

can also be found in male-dominated manufacturing locations like the Bukom refinery on Bukom Island and Shell’s Seraya petrochemical plant on Jurong Island.
 
Family Activities. Shell gives family assistance for staff relocating overseas. It also organises many family-oriented activities to enable staff to spend time with their family, such as Shell Children’s Day, Mass Jog and Family Day. There are always big turnouts for these events, for example, at the last Shell Children’s Day, 800 children and 1,000 adults attended.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Flexi Hours, Part Time and Telecommuting
 
Staff can choose to utilise flexi hours, part time, or telecommuting options. Those opting for flexi hours can choose different times to start work, subject to operational feasibility and management-set limits. Staff have responded well to this and 30 per cent of them have taken it up as a regular option. Staff can also ask for flexi hours for ad hoc situations, and over 80 per cent of employees have exercised this option occasionally.
 
Five per cent of Shell’s workforce opted for part time work arrangements; their working hours are regular and set at less than 30 hours a week. This option is popular with young mothers and those looking after elderly parents. Staff who telecommute spend all or most of their working time away from the office; 10 per cent of the staff are on this scheme. Shell provides notebooks, mobile phones or BlackBerry appropriately to facilitate these flexible work arrangements.
 
The success of the flexible arrangement hinges on mutual trust between supervisors and their subordinates, and the responsibility of individual employees. Employees and supervisors are regularly reminded to keep dialogue channels open. The employees feel empowered, thus motivating them to perform better.
 
To find out more about Shell, please visit: http://www.shell.com/home/content/sg-en/welcome.html

 

Family Room / Staff Lounge
 

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
You can provide peace of mind to your employees by designating space within your company that permits them to leave their children and/or other family members safely while they work.
You may equip the room with family-friendly items such as books, a television set, a DVD player, and toys. This can be very helpful for staff who have to work for a few hours on weekends as they can leave their children in the Family Room where they can be safely and meaningfully occupied.
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Rajah & Tann LLP
 
Rajah & Tann is one of the largest law firms in Singapore and the Asia Pacific offering legal advice in admiralty and shipping, corporate and commercial law, banking, dispute resolution and international arbitration, real estate, technology law, telecommunications, infrastructure and construction, business restructuring and insolvency, among others. Since the Firm implemented work-life initiatives, measurable benefits have been seen in slower staff turnover among its 547 employees and reduction in medical costs, improved employee engagement and ability to attract and retain professional talents.
 
Rajah & Tann LLP was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Thank God It’s Friday. The organisation operates on a five-day week and Fridays are 'dress down' days.
 
Recreation Area. An entire floor of the office is dedicated to staff for recreation and relaxation. It has an in-house cafe and lounge where staff gather for food and drinks, pool, table soccer, Xbox games, TV viewing or simply 'chill out' on a massage chair. The in-house cafe serves snacks throughout the day during office hours and in addition a daily breakfast and weekly lunch are provided free for lawyers.
 
Company Events. The Firm regularly organises attractive social events such as biennial trips to destinations like Cairns, Hong Kong and Phuket, quarterly movie nights at the cinema and wine and cheese sessions. Festive seasons like Christmas and Chinese New Year are celebrated and the firm also organises Family Day (where spouses and children of lawyers and staff interact) and friendly competitions.
 
To find out more about Rajah & Tann, please visit: http://www.rajahtann.com
 
 
 
About Yayasan MENDAKI
 
Yayasan MENDAKI is a self help group focussing on educational excellence in the Malay/Muslim community. Yayasan MENDAKI has 81 employees. Due to the nature of MENDAKI’s services, 

many staff have to work on weekends although 80 percent are women with families. As such, MENDAKI understands the need for family-friendly initiatives to be put in place. After work-life strategies were implemented, MENDAKI registered a low turnover of 2 percent in 2007. Health measures are also adequate, as evidenced by the 15 employees who did not take sick leave at all throughout 2006 and 2007. They were rewarded with a Zero MC Award. More specific feedback came through the Climate Survey 2006 in which over 80 percent of staff indicated that MENDAKI is a family friendly organisation, they felt their supervisors understood them, and that they were satisfied and felt motivated at their posts. In 2007, all contract staff were promoted to permanent positions because MENDAKI wanted to provide its employees job security and to retain talent.
 
Yayasan MENDAKI won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 

Health Programmes. MENDAKI has an appointed Staff Recreation Committee (SRC) that organises activities like weekly aerobics, BBQ for Bonding, Walk-A-Jog and Cycling. The company was awarded the Gold H.E.A.L.T.H Award by Health Promotion Board in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. The company also participates in activities with other agencies such as the Community Engagement Games Day organised by the National Council of Churches of Singapore. Not resting on its laurels, the SRC has planned a weight management programme that incorporates exercise and diet for MENDAKI staff.
 
Staff Lounge. Budget was set aside to create a relaxation lounge. Staff were also invited to submit design ideas for the lounge and de-stressing room so that it would truly cater to their needs.
 
Leave Benefit
Besides standard leave prescribed by the Employment Act and pilgrimage leave, MENDAKI offers a flexible range of leave benefits of up to 15 days a year. Married staff with children can opt to take the First Day of School off or Maid in Absence leave, while single staff can take a day’s leave on their birthday.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Flexi Hours and Telecommuting
 
MENDAKI practises a 5-day work-week and telecommuting. Almost half of the staff have taken up the option of flexi hours and staff can request for a half day work arrangement. Furthermore, the management is open to requests for flexible arrangements or no-pay leave in the event of family or personal crises. Covering officers take over the duties of the staff on leave so as to ensure that work flow is not interrupted.
 
To find out more about Yayasan MENDAKI, please visit: http://www.mendaki.org.sg
 
 
 
About Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports
 
The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) develops policies and programmes to build a cohesive and resilient society. It works actively with private, public and 

people sectors to foster socially responsible individuals, inspired and committed youth, strong and stable families, a sporting people and an active and caring community.
 
MCYS believes that if its employees can manage their work, family and personal commitments effectively, they will be more engaged and motivated to achieve the Ministry’s goals. To this end, MCYS has put effort into its work-life policies which has resulted in increasing take-up among employees of various types of flexi-work schemes; as well as reduction of medical leave and medical costs incurred by staff. A crucial factor to the success of its work-life policies is the support of senior management who walk the talk by participating actively in the various programmes.
 
MCYS was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Healthy and Sporty Wednesdays. MCYS organises sale of fruits and vegetables every fortnight, fruit distribution to staff every month, and weekly jogging and walking sessions. Staff are also given four hours per month to participate with colleagues in sporting activities like cycling and beach volleyball, amongst others.
 
Makan Trail. Buses are chartered to bring staff on a monthly lunch outing to famous eating places like Newton Circus, Tiong Bahru hawker centre, Maxwell Road hawker centre and Amoy Street. This activity is popular with the staff.
 
Family Events. The Ministry’s recreation club co-ordinates special package offers to attractions like the Singapore Flyer, musicals and shows. It also organises Movie Nites where staff and their families can enjoy movies at a discounted rate. These Movie Nites are always well attended.
 
Chillout@5. This is a clubhouse well-equipped with a home theatre system, computer gaming consoles, gym, pool table and a lactation room. It is an excellent place for staff to relax and interact with colleagues.
 
On-site Workplace Childcare Centre. The objective of having an on-site childcare centre is to provide a conducive environment to attract and retain staff and to help staff integrate their work and life. Childcare subsidies are provided for staff who enrol their children at the in-house childcare centre on top of the national subsidy provided for working mothers.
 
Leave Benefits – No Pay Leave
More MCYS staff are applying for no pay leave for childcare and family reasons. A large percentage of these are taken after maternity leave so that the mothers can spend more time caring for their newborns. It is also noteworthy that 25 percent of these applications are from singles who wish to further their studies or learn new work skills.
 
The high take-up rate can be attributed to the open attitude of supervisors who support no pay leave applications because they recognise that it is a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee. One supervisor says, “The personal priorities of our officers change at different stages of their lives. As a supervisor, our role is to support the officers’ requests for flexible work arrangements. This is key to a more committed and productive workforce.”
 
To find out more about MCYS, please visit: http://www.mcys.gov.sg

 

Financial Assistance Definition

You can provide your employees with a wide range of financial assistance in the form of loans or subsidies. These include loans for a house or car, loans for equipment, or personal loans to aid your employees and their families.

 

Flexible Benefits

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
This scheme, also known as cafeteria benefits, allows your staff to choose their own benefits from a set range of benefits offered. With a flexible benefits budget they can “buy” the benefits they want. These types of schemes are very popular because staff do not have to take benefits they don’t really want and can opt for benefits they do want. 
 
You can offer a wider range of benefits under flexible benefits schemes than your employees would get from a core package in order to accommodate the diverse needs of your staff. 
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Siemens Pte Ltd
 
Siemens AG is a leading global engineering conglomerate that develops and manufactures network communications systems. It has 400,000 employees worldwide in 190 countries and 

1,512 in Singapore alone. The company’s mission is to nurture highly-motivated employees who intimately understand customers' needs and, to achieve this, the company emphasises work-life. As a result of its policies, its turnover rate falls below the industry average and 83 percent of employees indicated in a Workplace Health survey that they are proud to work in Siemens.
 
Siemens was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Benefits Plan. This scheme is ideal because employees can choose from a wide array of options to suit their individual needs. For example, they can use their flex points or “flex dollars” to upgrade their insurance coverage, claim extra maternity expenses, or pay for medical tests and immunisations or buy health supplements and equipment. It was monitored that about 60 percent of employees use the flexible benefits to upgrade hospitalisation and surgical coverage for their dependents.
 
Medical Coverage. Annual health screening is provided for all employees and employees above 40 years old can claim up to $300 every 2 years for medical check-up. Staff can also claim for medical insurance and out-patient medical benefits for their dependants. Under a Maternity Assistance Scheme, eligible male employees receive $1,800 and female employees receive $2,500.
 
Work-Life Facilities. Siemens set up a gym in the office lounge with music equipment and reading material. There are occasional lunchtime talks on family topics. Siemens also provides a Lactation Room, after-work aerobics and yoga programmes and subsidised health programmes.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
5-day work-week, Flexi Time, Telecommuting and Part Time
 
Siemens offers a 5-day work-week with staggered working hours; telecommuting and part time work arrangements. All employees can choose to start work between 8 am to 9.30 am and leave the office between 5 pm to 6.30 pm. Employees can telecommute from home with company-issued laptops at their own discretion as long as this is approved by their supervisors. Employees can also discuss part time work arrangements with the management if the nature of the job permits it.
 
To find out more about Siemens, please visit: http://www.siemens.com.sg.
 
 
 
About Singapore Power Group
 
Singapore Power Group (SP) owns and operates electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses in Singapore and Australia. International industry indices rate SP’s electricity grid in Singapore among the world’s best performing networks, with the fewest and shortest power outages of cities worldwide. SP has about 2,700 staff in Singapore. We are committed to providing reliable and efficient energy utility services to our customers through operational excellence and enhancing people capabilities.
 
SP nurtures our staff’s work-life balance so that they lead healthy and meaningful lives. This has in turn enhanced workplace safety, as seen in the increased number of “no-incident” days, and helped SP clinched two Work Life Achiever Awards from the Ministry of Manpower in 2006 and 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Quality Life Programme (QLP). SP advocates the holistic well-being of its employees including their health, social and personal development, career and finance, through an integrated programme called QLP. Activities ranging from talks to sports are organised to help our staff better manage work-life issues and lead an active lifestyle.
 
Employees with health risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity, are equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to manage their health through various health intervention programmes including cholesterol management, healthy eating and weight management. The Cholesterol Management Programme, for example, is a programme provided free to staff to help them lower their blood cholesterol through regular exercise, workshops and talks on fitness, food and nutrition counselling.
 
The QLP has been effective in reducing the number of staff going on medical leave and increasing the number of employees with zero medical leave in a year.
 
Flexible Benefits (FLEX). SP employees are given $750 of FLEX dollars each year which they can spend on their lifestyle needs, for example, payment of children’s education including child care centres and pre-schools, insurance premiums, preventive healthcare, outpatient medical, dental, holiday and fitness expenses.
 
Facilities. SParkz is a cosy staff lounge where employees relax and interact over food and games. It is equipped with audio and visual facilities for small group gatherings and functions.
 
SP Club serves the health, social and recreational needs of employees and their family members. Besides offering sports amenities like gym, badminton courts and dance studio, it also organises fitness classes, recreational and self-enrichment activities for the benefit of our employees.
 
A lactation room is conveniently available for use by female staff who are breastfeeding.
 
SP’s e-facilities such as the Enterprise Portal make it quick and easy for staff to learn about and sign up for new QLP events. Its online monthly staff newsletter, eSP, further promotes work-life balance by featuring QLP and SP Club events.
 
Family-oriented activities. SP organises an annual Family Day event where families, colleagues and management staff gather for an exciting day of fun and activities.
 
Leave Benefits - Non Statutory Leave
 
To help employees cope with life’s changing and unexpected demands, SP provides up to seven days of special leave a year including matrimonial, paternity, compassionate and examination leave. Eligible working mothers with 3 or more children below 6 years old can claim up to 15 days of paid unrecorded childcare leave, of which 6 are government-paid and extended to eligible male employees.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements - Flexi Hours and Part Time
 
SP’s flexible work arrangements cater to the diverse needs of our employees and promote work-life balance. Subject to exigencies of work, employees can choose from four staggered commencing times. Working mothers can request for part-time employment of 21 or 28 hours a week to help them better manage work and family demands.
 
Employee Quote
 
“The activities under Cholesterol Management Programme are a great motivation. I managed to lower my cholesterol to a desired level halfway through the programme.” 
Gertrude Gomez, Executive Assistant, SP Services
 
“The Cholesterol Management Programme has improved my fitness level and helped me develop good dietary habits. With regular exercise, my body is now able to take on a high intensity aerobic workout. I feel healthier too.” 
Krishnaraj Murugaiah, Technical Officer, SP PowerGrid
 
To find out more about Singapore Power, please visit: http://www.singaporepower.com.sg
 
 
 
About Cerebos Pacific Limited
 
Cerebos Pacific Ltd is a food and health supplements enterprise in the Asia Pacific region with its corporate headquarter in Singapore. An SGX listed company, Cerebos flagship product, BRAND’S Essence of Chicken is the category leader. In Australiasia, Cerebos’ products include gravies, sauces, coffee and cooking aids.
 
Cerebos vision is to be the leading food and health supplements enterprise in the Asia Pacific region by creating value for its employees, customers and shareholders. Being a value creating company, one of its critical success factors is attracting, motivating and retaining quality employees.
 
Work-life is one of the vital HR initiatives in Cerebos. The company conducts regular employee surveys, focus groups, informal discussion groups and post-activity feedback in order to better meet employees’ work-life needs.
 
In 2008, Cerebos was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 

Time Off For Exercise. In addition to attaining work-life and excellence in physical and mental health, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), through community involvement, also forms an important element in Cerebos’ culture. Cerebos has instituted time-off to exercise during office hours. Employees have the flexibility to enjoy a game of golf, badminton, soccer, gym, jogging or yoga classes. They also have the flexibility to exercise any day of the week without limited hours per week. Cerebos implemented the Charity Points Programme, where attendance and participation in sports, fitness and work-life activities is credited as charity points which are converted into cash that Cerebos donates on behalf of the employees to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. Free fruits and health supplements are also given to employees as well as free health screening, physical fitness assessment and health education talks. Cerebos also participates in the Singapore Marathon run where $100 is donated to Charity for every kilometre covered. In 2007, Cerebos raised $171,975 for the ST School Pocket Money Fund.
 
Claim Benefits. Both female and male employees are entitled to claim maternity benefits. Employees enjoy medical and hospitalisation benefits, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments. They can also use the company’s flexible benefits scheme to defray family medical expenses. Resources have been made available for optical and dental treatments, eldercare, vacations and training courses.
 
Outings. Cerebos organises Family Day, Movie Day, Active Day and promotes Bring Kids to School Day. Idol Nite is particularly popular among the staff.
 
Leave Benefit
 
Over and above statutory requirements, 2 days of paternity leave for male employees and 4 days of family care leave are extended to all employees. Cerebos also has arrangements for bereavement, compassionate, study, examination and marriage leave.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Cerebos implemented staggered working hours for employees so that their employees have the option of commencing work based on their work-life needs. Employees with special needs are also able to work out their schedule with their supervisors, including telecommuting if required. Laptops, mobile phones and allowances are given to employees who travel frequently.
 
To find out more about Cerebos, please visit: http://www.cerebos.com
 
 
About Housing & Development Board
 
The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is Singapore's public housing authority and a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development. With the Home Ownership Programme, it has built almost 900,000 flats across Singapore, housing over 80 percent of the population. There is the HDB Hub, 20 HDB branch offices and 4 services centre, manned by over 4, 000 staff. 80 percent of them have stayed with the Board more than 10 years; moreover, employees find HDB such a nurturing environment that they have recommended family members to join the company, and there are now 100 pairs of staff who are related. HDB considers this an affirmation of its work-life policies.
 
HDB was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Benefits Scheme. This was introduced in 2005. Under this scheme, staff may claim reimbursement of up to $400 each year under 5 categories: lifestyle, health and fitness, family, learning and union membership. This scheme was welcomed by staff with almost full utilization rate. The scheme is constantly reviewed and improved. Since 2008, HDB has decided to directly credit the $400 quantum into staff’s salaries. This gives the staff greater flexibility and saves on administration of reimbursement claims.
 
Workplace Health Programmes. HDB regularly organises educational and health intervention programmes to improve the employees’ fitness level. On-site subsidised health screening is organised once every two years. Targeted health intervention programmes such as weight and cholesterol management classes are organised for employees who were diagnosed with these issues. There are also monthly lunch time talks on health issues. All HDB staff are allowed to take an hour off from work each week to exercise at the in-house gym and sports facilities. The holistic health education programmes have increased staff’s awareness on good health management. A 2007 survey revealed that 80 percent of the staff exercised three times a week.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting, Flexi Hours, Part Time
 
HDB adopted a 5-day work week in 2004, and has since implemented other flexible work arrangements such as flexi hours where staff can choose to start work at 7:30am, 8am, 8:30am or 9am. Part-time employment was also made available to retain staff who have work-life challenges. During a 2005 Employee Needs Survey, the management noted that a majority favoured telecommuting. They took action on the survey findings and conducted feasibility studies. The scheme was piloted in 2006, refined and officially launched to management/professional staff in 2007. Participants were very happy with the scheme as it allowed them to cut down on travelling time, spend more time with family and work at hours suitable to their schedule. Supervisors discovered that telecommuting staff were able to deliver their assigned tasks on time and effectively. Currently, 24 officers are on the scheme. One telecommuting employee expressed gratitude for the opportunity to spend more time with her two young children while keeping her job. She would have resigned if not for the availability of the scheme.
 
To find out more about HDB, please visit: http://www.hdb.gov.sg
 
 
 
About Mercer (Singapore)
 
Mercer is a leading global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services, with more than 25,000 clients worldwide. Mercer consultants help clients design and manage 

health, retirement and other benefits and optimise human capital. The firm also provides customised administration, technology and total benefit outsourcing solutions. Mercer’s investment services include global leadership in investment consulting and multi-manager investment management. The firm has operations in more than 40 countries with 18,000 employees, 300 of whom service the Singapore office. In a 2008 global employee survey, Mercer Singapore achieved 100 percent employee response. Employees expressed commitment to the company and have high rate of attendance in company events.
 
The firm was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Benefits Plan. Staff can claim reimbursements for health programmes, optical products, childcare expenses, medical treatments for elderly parents, training and development courses and even traditional Chinese medical treatments.
 
Grow Your Future Programme. This includes health programmes like Fruit Day, free health screening and sporting activities. There are also personal wealth education such as lunch time financial talks and personal development opportunities like dance classes and volunteering for charity. The attendance rate for these company events is very encouraging.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours, Part Time and Telecommuting
 
Feedback from staff on part time and telecommuting schemes are very positive. The administration is smooth enough such that other employees who need to communicate with the mobile staff do not experience difficulties or delays.
 
To find out more about Mercer, please visit: http://www.mercer.com

 

Flexible Lunch Time
Definition
 
A flexible lunch time will allow your staff to sufficiently manage their personal needs during lunch. They may have their one-hour lunch anytime between 12pm to 2pm.

 

Fruits Day
 

Success Stories

 
Definition

Celebrate health with a “Fruits Day!” Give your employees fruits on a weekly or monthly basis. This will form part of your organisation’s effort to promote a healthy lifestyle and good eating habits. 

 
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About OTi Consulting Pte Ltd
 
OTi Consulting is an international human resource and organisational development consultancy firm with 31 employees. The firm commits itself to meet its staff and business needs by 

introducing flexibility in work-life arrangements. As a result, OTi has been able to retain staff who are otherwise unable to work full-time. Two of six part-time staffs have been retained for more than six years due to the availability of flexible options. This has helped OTi save the cost of retraining new staff. The majority of the employees expressed job satisfaction and enthusiasm for the company’s work-life practices.
 
OTi won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Fruit Day. Employees are encouraged to eat healthily with generous servings of fruits provided once a week.
 
Company Events. Christmas Party, Durian & Dinner Party, Pizza & Games Night and barbeques are organised throughout the year and family members are invited for some of these events. These events received enthusiastic response from staff and attendance is always very good.
 
Leave Benefits – Additional Family Leave
 
Employees are entitled to take up to two days of flexi family leave in addition to their annual leave to attend to emergencies without the need to produce any supporting documentation.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Part Time and Telecommuting
 
OTi is mindfully flexible in offering different types of part time arrangements to different staff to ensure that the staff’s and the organisation’s needs are balanced and met.
 
Eight staff are currently on formalised flexible work arrangements. Some of them opted for permanent part time while others have opted for flexible work arrangement for a period of time to accommodate a short-term need, e.g. caring for a newborn or an elderly parent, or training for a competitive sports event.
 
Part time arrangements allow employees to work an agreed number of hours per week. Some staff have opted to work fewer days per week, while others prefer shorter working hours per day. All consultants are also eligible to telecommute on a need basis. They can do this simply by informing their supervisors and ensuring that client and company commitments are not compromised. This is possible as there is already a culture of high trust and management and employees abide by the “Flexibility with Accountability” principle. Such flexible work arrangements have provided OTi with a wider pool of talents to tap on while keeping manpower overheads low during off-peak periods.
 
To find out more about OTi, please visit: http://www.oticonsulting.com

 

 

Gifts for 
Newborn Baby
/
Marriage
/
Hospitalisation
/
Birthday
Festive Events
 

Success Stories

Gifts for Hospitalisation
 

Definition

When your employees fall ill, express your concern for their personal life, health and well-being by giving a Hospitalisation Gift. These gifts may include hampers, vouchers and cash. These gifts make your employees feel appreciated and cared for.

 

Success Stories

 
 
About Citi Institutional Clients Group
 
The Citi franchise in Singapore includes the Global Consumer Bank, the Institutional Clients Group, International Personal Bank, Citi Private Bank, Citi Smith Barney and Citi Alternative Investments. Citi has 200 million customer accounts and a presence in 100 countries. It has been named ‘Best Bank in Asia’ in the past. Citi Work Life Excellence Mission stresses training and professional development opportunities for staff. HR policies are crafted to enable staff to achieve their professional and personal goals.
 
With its Flexible Work Strategies, Citi experienced 4 percent reduction in staff turnover since 2005. At the same time, revenue increased more than 40 percent with the same staff strength.
 
Citi was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Medical Benefit Programme. This programme allows employees to choose the coverage that best meets their individual and family needs. Employees can make changes to their scheme on an annual basis as the needs of their family changes.
 
Chinese New Year shopping vouchers. To celebrate the festival, the bank presents shopping vouchers to all its employees. Citi management believes it is the only bank that has this practice.
 
Wellness Programme. Health screening, fitness assessments and weight management programmes are just a part of the initiative; a trained nutritionist and fitness instructor assist employees with personalised regimes. Citi also offers evening workshops in yoga, pilates, and dance. Health talks are conducted at lunch time on breast cancer, cardiac care and Food Pyramid. Fresh fruits are given to employees monthly. Besides these, the company also organises large scale events like dragon boat competition, the Citi race and Citi Sports Day.
 
Family Benefits. 2 lactation rooms have been set up in two buildings and have been used by 20 new mothers to date. The bank made arrangements with 5 childcare centres to provide discounts for staff’s children. Citi supports the Singapore campaign in getting employees to go home on time for Eat with The Family Day. The bank has a designated day for parents to bring their children aged 5 to 14 to the office where the children are treated to a kids’ Christmas party. 
 
For parents with school-going children, Citi arranges for teachers from a renowned school to conduct lunchtime Mathematics classes so that they can coach their children. Besides these, Citi organises Family Day, Party Nights and Bring Your Partner to Dinner where employees are invited to bring their partner for a dinner cum theatre performance. There are also regular talks on parenting and family issues.
 
Assistance for Expatriates. Citi helps its foreign workers on matters such as Central Provident Fund (CPF) and orientation to Singapore lifestyle.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexible Work Strategies
 
Citi has a package called Flexible Work Strategies (FWS). FWS includes flexi hours, remote work, permanent part time and compressed work week arrangements as well as job sharing.
 
60 percent of staff opted for flexi hours. Employees can start work as early as 7.30 am or at 9.30 am. In the category of remote work, or telecommuting, seven of the permanent staff work from home at least one day a week. For example, Citi allowed one employee to watch over her ailing parent-in-law and 3 children; without this flexible arrangement, she might have to resign Citi where she has worked for 17 years. All employees remain contactable via email or phone. Of the seven, two have been promoted for their performance.
 
One employee has been on permanent part time arrangement for more than two years; Citi managed to retain her with this flexible option. The company also offers compressed work week options which two employees took up but they have resumed regular hours. 99 percent of staff have voted FWS an important tool for employee satisfaction. FWS has also helped retain high performing employees as well as attract new talents.
 
 
For more information on Citi Group, please visit: http://www.citi.com

 

Gifts for 
Newborn Baby /
Marriage /
Hospitalisation /
Birthdays / 
Festive Events
 

Gifts for Marriage


Definition

 

Extend your greetings to your newly married employees by giving them Gifts for Marriage. These gifts may come in the form of hampers, vouchers, cash red packets, etc. and vary in type and amount. This goodwill gesture on your part will signify your appreciation and care for your staff.

 

 
Citi Group
 
About Citi Institutional Clients Group
 
The Citi franchise in Singapore includes the Global Consumer Bank, the Institutional Clients Group, International Personal Bank, Citi Private Bank, Citi Smith Barney and Citi Alternative Investments. Citi has 200 million customer accounts and a presence in 100 countries. It has been named ‘Best Bank in Asia’ in the past. Citi Work Life Excellence Mission stresses training and professional development opportunities for staff. HR policies are crafted to enable staff to achieve their professional and personal goals.
 
With its Flexible Work Strategies, Citi experienced 4 percent reduction in staff turnover since 2005. At the same time, revenue increased more than 40 percent with the same staff strength.
 
Citi was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Medical Benefit Programme. This programme allows employees to choose the coverage that best meets their individual and family needs. Employees can make changes to their scheme on an annual basis as the needs of their family changes.
 
Chinese New Year shopping vouchers. To celebrate the festival, the bank presents shopping vouchers to all its employees. Citi management believes it is the only bank that has this practice.
 
Wellness Programme. Health screening, fitness assessments and weight management programmes are just a part of the initiative; a trained nutritionist and fitness instructor assist employees with personalised regimes. Citi also offers evening workshops in yoga, pilates, and dance. Health talks are conducted at lunch time on breast cancer, cardiac care and Food Pyramid. Fresh fruits are given to employees monthly. Besides these, the company also organises large scale events like dragon boat competition, the Citi race and Citi Sports Day.
 
Family Benefits. 2 lactation rooms have been set up in two buildings and have been used by 20 new mothers to date. The bank made arrangements with 5 childcare centres to provide discounts for staff’s children. Citi supports the Singapore campaign in getting employees to go home on time for Eat with The Family Day. The bank has a designated day for parents to bring their children aged 5 to 14 to the office where the children are treated to a kids’ Christmas party. 
 
For parents with school-going children, Citi arranges for teachers from a renowned school to conduct lunchtime Mathematics classes so that they can coach their children. Besides these, Citi organises Family Day, Party Nights and Bring Your Partner to Dinner where employees are invited to bring their partner for a dinner cum theatre performance. There are also regular talks on parenting and family issues.
 
Assistance for Expatriates. Citi helps its foreign workers on matters such as Central Provident Fund (CPF) and orientation to Singapore lifestyle.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexible Work Strategies
 
Citi has a package called Flexible Work Strategies (FWS). FWS includes flexi hours, remote work, permanent part time and compressed work week arrangements as well as job sharing.
 
60 percent of staff opted for flexi hours. Employees can start work as early as 7.30 am or at 9.30 am. In the category of remote work, or telecommuting, seven of the permanent staff work from home at least one day a week. For example, Citi allowed one employee to watch over her ailing parent-in-law and 3 children; without this flexible arrangement, she might have to resign Citi where she has worked for 17 years. All employees remain contactable via email or phone. Of the seven, two have been promoted for their performance.
 
One employee has been on permanent part time arrangement for more than two years; Citi managed to retain her with this flexible option. The company also offers compressed work week options which two employees took up but they have resumed regular hours. 99 percent of staff have voted FWS an important tool for employee satisfaction. FWS has also helped retain high performing employees as well as attract new talents.
 
For more information on Citi Group, please visit: http://www.citi.com

 

Gifts for 
Newborn Baby /
Marriage
/
Hospitalisation /
Birthdays
Festive Events
 

Success Stories

Gifts for Newborn Baby


Definition

 

Your employees’ family is growing! A gift for their newborn baby will make them feel that you value their personal life and well-being. Gifts for Newborn Baby may include hampers, vouchers and cash.

Success Stories
 
 
About Citi Institutional Clients Group
 
The Citi franchise in Singapore includes the Global Consumer Bank, the Institutional Clients Group, International Personal Bank, Citi Private Bank, Citi Smith Barney and Citi Alternative Investments. Citi has 200 million customer accounts and a presence in 100 countries. It has been named ‘Best Bank in Asia’ in the past. Citi Work Life Excellence Mission stresses training and professional development opportunities for staff. HR policies are crafted to enable staff to achieve their professional and personal goals.
 
With its Flexible Work Strategies, Citi experienced 4 percent reduction in staff turnover since 2005. At the same time, revenue increased more than 40 percent with the same staff strength.
 
Citi was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Flexible Medical Benefit Programme. This programme allows employees to choose the coverage that best meets their individual and family needs. Employees can make changes to their scheme on an annual basis as the needs of their family changes.
 
Chinese New Year shopping vouchers. To celebrate the festival, the bank presents shopping vouchers to all its employees. Citi management believes it is the only bank that has this practice.
 
Wellness Programme. Health screening, fitness assessments and weight management programmes are just a part of the initiative; a trained nutritionist and fitness instructor assist employees with personalised regimes. Citi also offers evening workshops in yoga, pilates, and dance. Health talks are conducted at lunch time on breast cancer, cardiac care and Food Pyramid. Fresh fruits are given to employees monthly. Besides these, the company also organises large scale events like dragon boat competition, the Citi race and Citi Sports Day.
 
Family Benefits. 2 lactation rooms have been set up in two buildings and have been used by 20 new mothers to date. The bank made arrangements with 5 childcare centres to provide discounts for staff’s children. Citi supports the Singapore campaign in getting employees to go home on time for Eat with The Family Day. The bank has a designated day for parents to bring their children aged 5 to 14 to the office where the children are treated to a kids’ Christmas party. 
 
For parents with school-going children, Citi arranges for teachers from a renowned school to conduct lunchtime Mathematics classes so that they can coach their children. Besides these, Citi organises Family Day, Party Nights and Bring Your Partner to Dinner where employees are invited to bring their partner for a dinner cum theatre performance. There are also regular talks on parenting and family issues.
 
Assistance for Expatriates. Citi helps its foreign workers on matters such as Central Provident Fund (CPF) and orientation to Singapore lifestyle.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexible Work Strategies
 
Citi has a package called Flexible Work Strategies (FWS). FWS includes flexi hours, remote work, permanent part time and compressed work week arrangements as well as job sharing.
 
60 percent of staff opted for flexi hours. Employees can start work as early as 7.30 am or at 9.30 am. In the category of remote work, or telecommuting, seven of the permanent staff work from home at least one day a week. For example, Citi allowed one employee to watch over her ailing parent-in-law and 3 children; without this flexible arrangement, she might have to resign Citi where she has worked for 17 years. All employees remain contactable via email or phone. Of the seven, two have been promoted for their performance.
 
One employee has been on permanent part time arrangement for more than two years; Citi managed to retain her with this flexible option. The company also offers compressed work week options which two employees took up but they have resumed regular hours. 99 percent of staff have voted FWS an important tool for employee satisfaction. FWS has also helped retain high performing employees as well as attract new talents.
 
For more information on Citi Group, please visit: http://www.citi.com

 

Health and Wellness Programme

 

Success Stories


Definition

Your employees can be really productive if they are mentally and physically healthy. You can help them achieve this by organising activities, setting up interest groups, and other relevant programmes that can promote better health and fitness levels for your employees. 
You can also have an in-house gym, lunchtime health seminars, and exercise classes.
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Becton Dickinson Critical Care Systems
 
Becton Dickinson (BD) is a global medical technology company operating in 50 countries; it has two manufacturing facilities in Singapore specialising in the production of hypodermic needles, syringes, catheters, immunisation products and critical care products. There are also the BD regional headquarters for Asia and its BioVenture Centre, a full-service life science incubator. There are 350 people employed in Becton Dickinson Critical Care Systems and approximately 1,000 people in the 3 BD entities in Singapore. Health interventions have reduced by half the number of employees who had health risks due to undesirable cholesterol levels. BD is also satisfied with its low turnover rate of 4.5 percent; the national average in the manufacturing industry is 18 percent.
 
Becton Dickinson Critical Care Systems won the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Workplace Health Promotion programmes are targeted at the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual health of the employees. They include activities like yogassage, flower arrangement, family outings to Sungei Buroh Nature Reserve and Tree-top walk at MacRitchie Reservoir, as well as volunteering at SWAMI Home for the elderly. BD offers annual health screening and regular Body Mass Index (BMI) monitoring. As a result, the average Fitness Index score has shown improvement and employees with unhealthy blood cholesterol levels are more aware of their health risks. All this has resulted in lowering of medical costs for the company and progressive reduction in absenteeism. Senior managers champion and participate in the programmes and share their lifestyle experiences with colleagues.
 
Leave Benefits – Supplementary Leave
 
2 days of supplementary leave have been added to the annual leave entitlement for all employees as the company supports employees’ desire to spend quality time with their families and friends, regardless of marital status. This supplementary leave has been 100 percent utilised. Young, single hires appreciate the company’s non-discrimination of marital status.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Telecommuting
 
Employees can choose to start work at 8 am and finish at 5.30 pm or start and end half an hour later. They need not go through any bureaucratic process to opt for their preferred timing. This work-life feature has proven competitive in attracting new hires as it positioned BD as a “Great Place to Work”.
 
To find out more about Becton Dickinson, please visit: http://www.bd.com
 
 
 
About City Developments Limited
 
City Developments Limited (CDL) is an international property and hotel conglomerate involved in real estate development and investment, hotel ownership and management, facilities management as well as the provision of hospitality solutions. CDL has a global presence in over 20 countries with more than 300 subsidiaries and associated companies. CDL has a workforce of over 300 employees in Singapore.
 
As a result of its work-life strategies, medical leave taken by employees has dropped by 4 percent in 2007 compared to the previous year, thus increasing productivity. In recognition of its excellence in work-life strategies and commitment to helping employees harmonise work and personal life CDL was presented the Work-Life Excellence Award in 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes – Workplace Health Programme
 
As part of its initiatives to enhance work-life and employee’s health, CDL organises free weekly exercise, annual health checks, family outings and sports activities on a regular basis. Targeted Workplace Health programmes such as a “Body Health & Cholesterol Management” in 2007 and “Osteoporosis Prevention Intervention Project for Women” in 2006 were well participated by staff. Employees report a lowering of cholesterol level and healthier Body Mass Index (BMI). For its outstanding Workplace Health Promotion programmes to encourage employees to lead healthy and vibrant lives, CDL was awarded “The Singapore H.E.A.L.T.H. Award” (Platinum) in 2008.
 
CDL also works with government agencies with a view to constantly improving the workplace environment for its employees. This includes tapping on the Ministry of Manpower’s WOW! Fund to create a well-equipped Lactation Room within the office premises.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours
 
CDL is open to flexi-work arrangements for employees as this provides work flexibility in response to employees’ family needs and allows them to manage their time more effectively.
 
CDL employees can choose to start and end their work hours within management-set limits. 33 percent of the staff have opted for this flexible arrangement. This scheme enables employees to meet family and personal commitments as they can choose work-hours that best suit their needs. This scheme removes the problem of staff reporting late to work and, instead, enhances their productivity and motivation. The company’s Work-Life Committee and Human Resources Department were responsible for developing the policy, guiding principles, the administrative and IT structure and the application and evaluation process. An atmosphere of trust and teamwork have contributed to making the scheme a success; and employees and their supervisors have given positive feedback. Based on the results of a 2007 survey, employees reported an increase in staff satisfaction as they are able to better balance the demands of work and home life.
 
To find out more about City Developments, please visit: http://www.cdl.com.sg
 
 
 
About Singapore General Hospital
 
Singapore General Hospital (SGH) is Singapore's largest acute tertiary hospital with 6,000 employees and a national referral centre providing multi-disciplinary medical care. SGH is also a centre of medical education and research for innovative treatments.
 
SGH has a one-on-one work-life strategy which emphasises flexibility. Work-life programmes are customised to meet the employees’ needs. As a result, staff grievances, absenteeism and the turnover rate have dropped, and employees gave a high satisfaction rating on an Employee Engagement Survey. The Hospital also saw a better staff retention rate and an increase in the number of ex-SGH staff seeking re-employment as well as new job applicants. The management also witnessed employees writing appreciation messages to each other, which was a positive sign of camaraderie and unity.
 
Singapore General Hospital was conferred the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Health and Sports. SGH has a dedicated Work-Life Unit and a Workplace Health Promotion Committee that identifies common health risks among the staff and organises relevant health and exercise programmes and activities. About 267 work-life activities are organised in a year. A survey of these activities came back with the encouraging results that each employee participated in more than five activities.
 
Health Screening and Talks. Monthly health talks enable staff to learn about their health risks and adopt healthier lifestyles. Employees form sports interest groups to enjoy weekly activities like dance classes and nature walks; and monthly and annual activities like mass aerobic workouts and external sporting events. As a result, staff have experienced an overall drop in BMI to healthier levels.
 
Gym and Dance Studio. These facilities were recently refurbished. The new gymnasium is three times the size of the old gym. It is stocked with equipment that enhance the overall exercise experience. The Dance Studio is the perfect venue for activities ranging from simple stretching to body combat.
 
Work-Life Pals. This is a network of over 100 volunteers from various staff categories like doctors, nurses, health professionals and administrative officers who volunteer to run work-life programmes
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Compressed Work Week
 
SGH sanctions various forms of flexible work arrangements which include compressed work week, part time, flexi-time and job sharing. An efficient compressed work week is created by departments designing their own work schedules that meet their department and personal needs, as well as the 24/7 operational demands of the Hospital. The staff carefully monitor their compressed work week using Key Performance Indicators, and are able to manage their responsibilities. Nurses have given feedback that they can concentrate better on ward rounds and general feedback has been that employees have more time for family, recreation and learning.
 
It is a challenge for a 24/7 hospital with 6,000 employees, serving 700,000 patients annually, to implement the varied forms of compressed work week schedules, and at the same time, to ensure that patient care and service standards are not compromised. SGH's success in implementing this scheme can be attributed to the Hospital's leaders’ trust in empowering employees.
 
To find out more about SGH, please visit: http://www.sgh.com.sg
 
SPRING Singapore
 
About SPRING Singapore
 
SPRING Singapore is the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies and fostering a competitive small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. SPRING works with partners to help enterprises in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and gaining access to markets. SPRING is also the national standards and accreditation body of Singapore. As a result of several work-life initiatives that were implemented over the years, SPRING saw a 12.8 percent drop in medical costs among its 350 employees since 2005 and a 5 percent drop in medical leave taken. In addition, senior management also held regular dialogue sessions with staff and their feedback were promptly addressed and looked into.
 
SPRING Singapore was presented with the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Sports and Fitness. SPRING organises an annual inter-group sports competition (IGSC) with activities like running, bowling, 

badminton and tennis, and even indoor games like Scrabble and darts. More than half of the officers participate in this annual event. They are granted early release from work to train for the competition. Some of these participants also represented SPRING in friendly competitions with its Malaysian counterpart. When the competition was held in Malaysia, some family members also went along as supporters for a quality time of family bonding. In 2006, a total of 100 staff and family travelled to Malaysia for the friendly meet. Other Board-wide events include Active Days and Family Days where families are welcome to participate. For example, 430 officers and their families turned up for the Active cum Family Day in 2006. Interesting activities like treasure hunts and telematches were also organised.
 
IT Support. Previously, only senior officers were provided with laptops. The benefit has since been extended to junior officers who require the same facility for their work. This has increased officers’ work mobility and response time to urgent work issues, and also helped them to maintain work-life balance.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexi Hours, Part Time and Telecommuting
 
SPRING provides employees with flexible work arrangements like flexi-hours where employees can apply via the HR system to start work at 7.30am, 8.00am, 8.30am or 9.00 am. Depending on their work-life needs, they can also apply to telecommute or work part time for a period of time agreed between themselves and their departments’ supervisors, subject to Management’s approval. These flexible work arrangements are possible as there is open communication and mutual trust between employees and their department supervisors.
 
Employee Quote
 
“I've been on flexi hours for at least a year now and it’s been great in helping me to balance my roles at home and at work. By putting in the same number of hours at the office and yet having the flexibility to leave earlier, I get to spend more waking time with my school-going kids without compromising on my work. In fact, I've been seeing more of my kids now than ever before because I see them off to school before popping into the office in the early mornings. I am glad that SPRING has such a flexible scheme for working mothers like me.”
- Jennifer Yap, Deputy Director, Corporate Communications
 
To find out more about SPRING Singapore, please visit: http://www.spring.gov.sg
 
 
About Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)
 
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is Singapore’s land use planning and conservation agency. Its mission is to “make Singapore a great city to live, work and play in” and its comprehensive long term planning efforts, have transformed Singapore into one of the world’s most liveable cities.
 
Through employee surveys, URA has received affirmation that its work-life policies are well-received. For example, more than 90 percent of officers responded that they are proud to work in URA and the average number of days of medical leave taken per staff is below the civil service average. URA was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
A Flexible Benefits Scheme is in place where staff can claim reimbursement of up to $400 per year for their expenses incurred under three broad categories -- learning and development, health and fitness programmes and pro-family. For example, they can spend it on holidays to bond with their family members or use it to pay for course fees to upgrade themselves or meet their social needs. This scheme is well received by staff who enjoy the flexibility of being able to choose the benefits that best suit their needs at different stage of their life.
 
URA also initiates numerous healthy lifestyle programmes for its staff, such as Sports for Life Walk/Run, mass workouts, lunchtime and evening exercise classes and lunchtime health talks. Annual on-site health screening is also made available for all staff at subsidised rates. Staff are also encouraged to keep themselves fit and are given an hour of office time each week to exercise. URA was conferred the H.E.A.L.T.H Platinum Award in 2006 and it has been a Gold Award recipient since 2003.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Part Time, Telecommuting and Flexi Hours
 
URA’s senior management is mindful of staff who need to commence work later or who need to leave earlier because of family commitments, for example childcare arrangements. Therefore, staff are allowed to report to work any time between 8 am to 9 am and leave the office between 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm.
 
URA’s senior management is also supportive of applications for conversions to part-time employment, facilitating various stages of family commitments.
 
The organisation is also open to telecommuting requests. These applications are considered on a case by case basis taking into consideration the nature of the job, the officer’s circumstances and his or her work performance.
 
Employee Quote
 
“With age catching up and realising the need to keep myself healthy and have better work-life balance, I started my daily exercise routine in June 2007. Now, I feel fitter, more energetic and have a renewed zest for life.”
- Ng Chor Seng, Higher Information Administrator
 
To find out more about URA, please visit: http://www.ura.gov.sg
 

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Health Screening Definition

Promote better health and fitness level to your employees by organising a Health Screening. Such annual screenings will help your employees keep a record and monitor their health and fitness levels over the years. Coupled with health promotion programmes where useful information is disseminated, your employees can live a much healthier lifestyle.

 

Holiday Subsidies
/
Accommodation

Definition

Organisations in the tourism and related industries that own holiday accommodation locally and overseas, may offer your employees vouchers to stay in one of the properties of the company when they go on holiday. Alternatively, you may also subsidise a certain portion of your employees’ holiday expense (e.g. accommodation).

 

Lactation Room
 

Success Stories

 
Definition

Designating a private room for lactating mothers encourages them to continue breastfeeding their babies upon returning to the workforce. This room could have chairs, electric sockets for electric breast pumps, as well as a refrigerator, sink, and hot water.

 

 

Success Stories
 
 
About Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd
 
Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 2,100 staff in its Singapore office. Shell is a major corporate citizen of Singapore and actively participates in the economic 

well-being of the nation. Shell monitors its work-life strategies biennially. Since 2004, the trend is that more and more Shell personnel respond that they are able to balance their work and other commitments. Average sick leave and hospitalisation leave taken have also dropped. This further endorses the company’s work-life strategies.
 
Shell Eastern Petroleum won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes
Lactation Rooms. These private rooms come equipped with breast pumps, refrigerators and comfortable seats for breastfeeding 

mothers. It started with one room in the head office, but now can also be found in male-dominated manufacturing locations like the Bukom refinery on Bukom Island and Shell’s Seraya petrochemical plant on Jurong Island.
 
Family Activities. Shell gives family assistance for staff relocating overseas. It also organises many family-oriented activities to enable staff to spend time with their family, such as Shell Children’s Day, Mass Jog and Family Day. There are always big turnouts for these events, for example, at the last Shell Children’s Day, 800 children and 1,000 adults attended.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Flexi Hours, Part Time and Telecommuting
 
Staff can choose to utilise flexi hours, part time, or telecommuting options. Those opting for flexi hours can choose different times to start work, subject to operational feasibility and management-set limits. Staff have responded well to this and 30 per cent of them have taken it up as a regular option. Staff can also ask for flexi hours for ad hoc situations, and over 80 per cent of employees have exercised this option occasionally.
 
Five per cent of Shell’s workforce opted for part time work arrangements; their working hours are regular and set at less than 30 hours a week. This option is popular with young mothers and those looking after elderly parents. Staff who telecommute spend all or most of their working time away from the office; 10 per cent of the staff are on this scheme. Shell provides notebooks, mobile phones or BlackBerry appropriately to facilitate these flexible work arrangements.
 
The success of the flexible arrangement hinges on mutual trust between supervisors and their subordinates, and the responsibility of individual employees. Employees and supervisors are regularly reminded to keep dialogue channels open. The employees feel empowered, thus motivating them to perform better.
 
 
To find out more about Shell, please visit: 

 

Leaving Early
from Work

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
Employees value their personal time. Put in place a variety of work-life policies that enables them to leave earlier than the usual end times on designated business days. 
For instance, you can have a general ruling that no meetings are to be scheduled past a certain time, e.g. 3pm, on specified days, allowing your staff to leave office a few hours earlier.
 
Another example is the Blue Sky Day during which employees leave the office earlier than the usual end time on designated days, so that they can “see the blue sky”.
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About American Express International
 
American Express is a world leader in charge and credit cards, travellers cheques, travel and business services. To service its global customers, American Express hires 62,000 employees 

and 750 of these run the Singapore office. Amex work-life strategies have resulted in increased productivity by 10 to 15 percent and employee retention in the Blue Work concept is about 90 percent. From its surveys, the company estimates overall employee engagement to be at 85 percent. American Express won the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – “Blue Work”
 
Blue Work is Amex’s term for formal arrangements for flexibility in work space. It is integrated into the company’s human resource policies. Flexibility includes staggered working hours, off-site work areas such as home/virtual office arrangements, shared office space, touch-down space and telecommuting. The corporate focus is on results rather than on hours clocked in the office and face-to-face time.
 
Blue Work has helped Amex to achieve higher levels of engagement among employees. Internal surveys reported that productivity increased because of reduced commuting time and uninterrupted time in virtual office. Staff who work part-time from home also have more motivation to stay on in the organisation, thus helping Amex to retain valuable staff.
 
Leave Benefits - Flexi Leave
 
On top of annual leave, flexi leave offers employees a maximum of 6 days paid leave during the year to attend to personal matters such as studying for exams, wedding plans and family care. 46 percent of the Singapore staff have taken leave days from the flexi leave programme, mostly female staff who have had to attend to family emergencies. This benefit is not pro rated because the management feels that even new staff who enter the organisation midway through the year may face emergencies at any time. Flexi leave is easier to manage in terms of administration as leave taken for different reasons can be classified under one category.
 
Employee Support Schemes - Sunshine Fridays
 
This benefit gives all team members the chance to leave at an earlier hour on Friday. Leaders avoid scheduling meetings after 4 pm and ensure that meetings finish by 5 pm. Sunshine Friday is much appreciated by employees as it contributes to a longer, and therefore more leisurely, weekend.
 
To find out more about American Express, please visit: http://home.americanexpress.com/sg
 
 
 
About Standard Chartered Bank
 
Standard Chartered Bank is an international bank with over 73,000 employees and an extensive network in more than 70 countries across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
 
The Bank believes that creating an environment where employees can harmonise work and personal commitments is a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent. This will lead to higher employee engagement, lower staff turnover as well as lower recruitment and training costs.
 
In 2008, the Bank introduced a series of pro-family and work-life initiatives at the workplace and this has helped them clinch the recent Ministry of Manpower’s “Work-Life Achiever” Award. One of the initiatives is to encourage flexible work arrangements such “Happy Fridays”. Their approach to flexible working arrangements is built around a strong business rationale that improved employee engagement results in better business performance.
 
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Happy Friday
 
Staff are encouraged to refrain from holding any internal meetings or conference calls after 3.30 pm on Fridays. This has helped to ensure that they are able to leave the office promptly at 5.30 pm. And on the discretion of their line manager, staff are also allowed to take turns to leave the office 2 hours earlier on one Friday a month to attend to their personal matters. Alternatively, they could plan a fun activity for their team during the last 2 hours on a Friday, once a month.
 
The Derivatives Settlement Department is one of the departments in the Bank that utilise the Happy Friday arrangement. One person from each team could leave the office two hours earlier on one Friday every month. Although meeting deadlines to settle trades is critical for this department, teamwork has ensured that operations are maintained and work-life achieved.
 
This flexi-work arrangement has been made possible with strong support from the Bank’s senior management. They have also implemented “Happy Fridays” within their own departments.
 
 
To find out more about Standard Chartered Bank, please visit: http://www.standardchartered.com.sg
 
 
 

 

Lunchtime Swap Definition

A lunchtime swap means that your employees have a shorter lunch time on one day (half hour) and a longer lunch period (one-and-half hours) the next day during the week. This gives them the flexibility to manage time consuming errands during lunch.

 

Medical and Insurance Coverage
 

Success Stories

 
Definition

Medical and insurance coverage for staff and their family members usually includes medical/dental claims for work including overseas travel.

 
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Siemens Pte Ltd
 
Siemens AG is a leading global engineering conglomerate that develops and manufactures network communications systems. It has 400,000 employees worldwide in 190 countries and 1,512 in Singapore alone. The company’s mission is to nurture highly-motivated employees who intimately understand customers' needs and, to achieve this, the company emphasises work-life. As a result of its policies, its turnover rate falls below the industry average and 83 percent of employees indicated in a Workplace Health survey that they are proud to work in Siemens.
 
Siemens was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Scheme
 
Flexible Benefits Plan. This scheme is ideal because employees can choose from a wide array of options to suit their individual needs. For example, they can use their flex points or “flex dollars” to upgrade their insurance coverage, claim extra maternity expenses, or pay for medical tests and immunisations or buy health supplements and equipment. It was monitored that about 60 percent of employees use the flexible benefits to upgrade hospitalisation and surgical coverage for their dependents.
 
Medical Coverage. Annual health screening is provided for all employees and employees above 40 years old can claim up to $300 every 2 years for medical check-up. Staff can also claim for medical insurance and out-patient medical benefits for their dependants. Under a Maternity Assistance Scheme, eligible male employees receive $1,800 and female employees receive $2,500.
 
Work-Life Facilities. Siemens set up a gym in the office lounge with music equipment and reading material. There are occasional lunchtime talks on family topics. Siemens also provides a Lactation Room, after-work aerobics and yoga programmes and subsidised health programmes.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements
 
5-day work-week, Flexi Time, Telecommuting and Part Time
 
Siemens offers a 5-day work-week with staggered working hours; telecommuting and part time work arrangements. All employees can choose to start work between 8 am to 9.30 am and leave the office between 5 pm to 6.30 pm. Employees can telecommute from home with company-issued laptops at their own discretion as long as this is approved by their supervisors. Employees can also discuss part time work arrangements with the management if the nature of the job permits it.
 
To find out more about Siemens, please visit: http://www.siemens.com.sg

 

On-Site Childcare Centres

Definition

Your employees would appreciate support in managing childcare matters. For example, you may provide space in the office building for an on-site Childcare Centre or partner with a childcare service provider to provide on-site childcare services for your employees’ children.

In an On-Site Childcare Centre, your employees may be given priority over members of the public in enrolling their children in the facility. Employees are also commonly offered a staff discount off the usual rates.

 

Scholarships

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
Learning is a continuous process, and you can show your encouragement for lifelong learning through the provision of scholarships. These scholarships can be subsidies for book allowances and tuition fees for your employee, particularly for courses related to your business operations. 
 
You can also grant scholarships to the school-going children of your employees
 

 

Success Stories
 
 
About Hamilton Sundstrand Pacific Aerospace Pte Ltd
 
Hamilton Sundstrand Pacific Aerospace designs and manufactures aerospace systems for commercial, regional, corporate and military aircraft. Its mission is to be the highest quality and lowest cost provider of customised systems for its customers. Its work-life policy has helped the company to maintain sick leave per staff at half of the national average. 80 percent of its 865 employees have expressed satisfaction with the company’s training and development policy and 62 percent gave good feedback about its management practices. Turnover remains at 1.1 percent compared to the industry average of 2 percent.
 
Hamilton Sundstrand was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
 
Employee Support Schemes / Leave Benefits
 
Employee Scholar Programme. Hamilton Sundstrand emphasises lifelong training. It invested $1 million in training in 2008 alone. The scholarship programme was started in 2000 and is proving to be a major “talent magnet” for the company. Under the scheme, the company fully subsidises employees’ academic fees, tuition and textbooks for additional classes that are part of degree programmes. The employees can also apply for study leave to work on academic projects or revise for exams. They are additionally rewarded with United Technologies common stock, stock appreciation rights or stock units upon successful completion of degree courses.
 
To find out more about Hamilton Sundstrand, please visit: http://www.hamiltonsundstrand.com

 

Social Activities for Singles Definition

Let your singles mingle! You can organise a range of social activities specially designed for singles. Such networking activities can be intra-organisation or with other organisations.

 

Family Room / Staff Lounge
 

Success Stories

 
Help your employees relax by designating a specially furnished space inside or outside your company that is equipped with food and material for recreational activities.
 
Providing space with informal atmosphere within the workplace or well-accessible outside the office allows your employees to unwind and relax during or at the end of the work day.
You may also open this facility to your employees’ families.
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About Rajah & Tann LLP
 
Rajah & Tann is one of the largest law firms in Singapore and the Asia Pacific offering legal advice in admiralty and shipping, corporate and commercial law, banking, dispute resolution and international arbitration, real estate, technology law, telecommunications, infrastructure and construction, business restructuring and insolvency, among others. Since the Firm implemented work-life initiatives, measurable benefits have been seen in slower staff turnover among its 547 employees and reduction in medical costs, improved employee engagement and ability to attract and retain professional talents.
 
Rajah & Tann LLP was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Thank God It’s Friday. The organisation operates on a five-day week and Fridays are 'dress down' days.
 
Recreation Area. An entire floor of the office is dedicated to staff for recreation and relaxation. It has an in-house cafe and lounge where staff gather for food and drinks, pool, table soccer, Xbox games, TV viewing or simply 'chill out' on a massage chair. The in-house cafe serves snacks throughout the day during office hours and in addition a daily breakfast and weekly lunch are provided free for lawyers.
 
Company Events. The Firm regularly organises attractive social events such as biennial trips to destinations like Cairns, Hong Kong and Phuket, quarterly movie nights at the cinema and wine and cheese sessions. Festive seasons like Christmas and Chinese New Year are celebrated and the firm also organises Family Day (where spouses and children of lawyers and staff interact) and friendly competitions.
 
To find out more about Rajah & Tann, please visit: http://www.rajahtann.com
 
 
 
About Yayasan MENDAKI
 
Yayasan MENDAKI is a self help group focussing on educational excellence in the Malay/Muslim community. Yayasan MENDAKI has 81 employees. Due to the nature of MENDAKI’s services, many staff have to work on weekends although 80 percent are women with families. As such, MENDAKI understands the need for family-friendly initiatives to be put in place. After work-life strategies were implemented, MENDAKI registered a low turnover of 2 percent in 2007. Health measures are also adequate, as evidenced by the 15 employees who did not take sick leave at all throughout 2006 and 2007. They were rewarded with a Zero MC Award. More specific feedback came through the Climate Survey 2006 in which over 80 percent of staff indicated that MENDAKI is a family friendly organisation, they felt their supervisors understood them, and that they were satisfied and felt motivated at their posts. In 2007, all contract staff were promoted to permanent positions because MENDAKI wanted to provide its employees job security and to retain talent.
 
Yayasan MENDAKI won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
Health Programmes. MENDAKI has an appointed Staff Recreation Committee (SRC) that organises activities like weekly aerobics, BBQ for Bonding, Walk-A-Jog and Cycling. The company was awarded the Gold H.E.A.L.T.H Award by Health Promotion Board in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. The company also participates in activities with other agencies such as the Community Engagement Games Day organised by the National Council of Churches of Singapore. Not resting on its laurels, the SRC has planned a weight management programme that incorporates exercise and diet for MENDAKI staff.
 
Staff Lounge. Budget was set aside to create a relaxation lounge. Staff were also invited to submit design ideas for the lounge and de-stressing room so that it would truly cater to their needs.
 
Leave Benefit
Besides standard leave prescribed by the Employment Act and pilgrimage leave, MENDAKI offers a flexible range of leave benefits of up to 15 days a year. Married staff with children can opt to take the First Day of School off or Maid in Absence leave, while single staff can take a day’s leave on their birthday.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Flexi Hours and Telecommuting
MENDAKI practises a 5-day work-week and telecommuting. Almost half of the staff have taken up the option of flexi hours and staff can request for a half day work arrangement. Furthermore, the management is open to requests for flexible arrangements or no-pay leave in the event of family or personal crises. Covering officers take over the duties of the staff on leave so as to ensure that work flow is not interrupted.
 
To find out more about Yayasan MENDAKI, please visit: http://www.mendaki.org.sg
 
 
 
About Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports
 

The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) develops policies and programmes to build a cohesive and resilient society. It works actively with private, public and people sectors to foster socially responsible individuals, inspired and committed youth, strong and stable families, a sporting people and an active and caring community.
 
MCYS believes that if its employees can manage their work, family and personal commitments effectively, they will be more engaged and motivated to achieve the Ministry’s goals. To this end, MCYS has put effort into its work-life policies which has resulted in increasing take-up among employees of various types of flexi-work schemes; as well as reduction of medical leave and medical costs incurred by staff. A crucial factor to the success of its work-life policies is the support of senior management who walk the talk by participating actively in the various programmes.
 
MCYS was awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
Healthy and Sporty Wednesdays. MCYS organises sale of fruits and vegetables every fortnight, fruit distribution to staff every month, and weekly jogging and walking sessions. Staff are also given four hours per month to participate with colleagues in sporting activities like cycling and beach volleyball, amongst others.
 
Makan Trail. Buses are chartered to bring staff on a monthly lunch outing to famous eating places like Newton Circus, Tiong Bahru hawker centre, Maxwell Road hawker centre and Amoy Street. This activity is popular with the staff.
 
Family Events. The Ministry’s recreation club co-ordinates special package offers to attractions like the Singapore Flyer, musicals and shows. It also organises Movie Nites where staff and their families can enjoy movies at a discounted rate. These Movie Nites are always well attended.
 
Chillout@5. This is a clubhouse well-equipped with a home theatre system, computer gaming consoles, gym, pool table and a lactation room. It is an excellent place for staff to relax and interact with colleagues.
 
On-site Workplace Childcare Centre. The objective of having an on-site childcare centre is to provide a conducive environment to attract and retain staff and to help staff integrate their work and life. Childcare subsidies are provided for staff who enrol their children at the in-house childcare centre on top of the national subsidy provided for working mothers.
 
Leave Benefits – No Pay Leave
More MCYS staff are applying for no pay leave for childcare and family reasons. A large percentage of these are taken after maternity leave so that the mothers can spend more time caring for their newborns. It is also noteworthy that 25 percent of these applications are from singles who wish to further their studies or learn new work skills.
 
The high take-up rate can be attributed to the open attitude of supervisors who support no pay leave applications because they recognise that it is a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee. One supervisor says, “The personal priorities of our officers change at different stages of their lives. As a supervisor, our role is to support the officers’ requests for flexible work arrangements. This is key to a more committed and productive workforce.”
 
To find out more about MCYS, please visit: http://www.mcys.gov.sg

 

Staff Support/Network
 

Success Stories

 
Definition
 

Work stress can affect your employee’s overall health and well-being. Address stress and workload issues by offering a range of mentoring/support activities and training programmes. These activities can help your employees cope with work-related problems more effectively.

 
 
Tan Tock Seng
 
About Tan Tock Seng Hospital
 
Tan Tock Seng Hospital(TTSH) is the second largest acute care general hospital in Singapore and employs more than 5,000 employees. Attrition rate of staff have remained at a low 10 percent for the past three years – a healthy figure as compared to the industry norm of 30 percent. Staff satisfaction remains relatively high with 95 percent of the workers expressing satisfaction with the hospital’s wellness programmes, staff amenities and benefits.
 
In recognition of its pursuit of work-life excellence, TTSH has been awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
The Staff Support Staff (3S) programme was developed after the SARS crisis, a time when many of its employees were put through phenomenal strain. It is a voluntary peer support programme run by staff for other staff who encounter stressful situations and require peer support and counselling.
 
The 3S committee is chaired by the clinical head of psychological medicine. Staff volunteers undergo 4-days company sponsored training in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Individual Crisis Intervention and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses to enable them to have the skills to provide effective support. To date, we have more than 65 staff who have either been trained or are undergoing training. More have signed up as volunteers. Team Leaders are provided with an additional 4-days training in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Group Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention & Intervention Courses.
 
The 3S team was put to the test when two tragic incidents happened recently. They were able to help and support affected employees in overcoming their grief and move on with their lives.
 
Having 3S in place have been beneficial to the organisation. Volunteers derive satisfaction through the training received and the support they convey to their peers. The scheme boosts confidence of the hospital staff and reassures that resources are available to assist them in coping with stress.
 
Flexible Work Arrangement – Flexi hours and Part Time
 
Tan Tock Seng Hospital operates 24 hours and responds efficiently to emergencies and public healthcare needs. Nevertheless, the management endorses a compressed work week so that its employees can balance work, personal and family commitments. Staff on non-shift work can choose from prescribed flexi start and ending hours. The Hospital is also open to hiring part-time staff.
 
To find out more about Tan Tock Seng Hospital, please visit: http://www.ttsh.com.sg
 
 
 
Changi General Hospital
 
About Changi General Hospital
 
Changi General Hospital (CGH) is dedicated to improving the health of the community in the east of Singapore. It offers a comprehensive range of medical and paramedical services as well as specialist clinics. The hospital has 26 wards and eight major operating theatres. 2,532 staff service the CGH vision to provide excellent and compassionate service and care.
 
85 percent of the staff rated the Hospital’s work-life programmes favourably in 2006. This was an increase in satisfaction compared to a few years ago. Despite the buoyant job market, the Hospital also observed a low attrition rate of only 9 percent. Moreover, reduced absenteeism saved the Hospital the equivalent of hiring nine new employees. All these can be connected to the Hospital’s excellent work-life policy.
 
In recognition of its efforts, CGH has been awarded the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
The P.E.E.R. Network is a voluntary peer-help programme that provides psychological support for CGH employees who experience emotional difficulties due to work-related stress, critical incidents, burnout, compassion fatigue, or personal problems. It was launched during the SARS period, when healthcare workers faced the threat of infection and death. It was the first of its kind to be organised in an Asian general hospital. This service is very relevant as healthcare workers regularly cope with dying patients and even verbal and physical assault by patients and their family members.
 
The Network gives full training for its volunteers to respond to needs. 88 Peer Supporters have signed up and 238 employees have benefited from the scheme since it was launched. One Housekeeper, who witnessed a patient suicide, only regained confidence to resume work in the ward after receiving counselling from peer supporters. It is so well-received that an in-house web-based Peer Support portal was launched in October 2007 to give staff mental health tips from the privacy of their desks.
 
A Work-Life Health Survey found that staff were coping well with their work and had generally high job satisfaction.
 
Convenience services. CGH opens a fruits and vegetables booth every week and it is warmly received. Every Thursday, staff can get a good massage at the Hospital. Also, an in-house Childcare Centre helps the Hospital retain the services of valuable employees. For example, Principal Physiotherapist Tan Hai Yang’s 3 children are all enrolled in the in-house childcare centre. He has also benefited from the Hospital's enhanced maternity benefit for spouses of male staff.
 
Employee Quote
 
“I am glad and grateful that the Hospital had supported and designated a room for lactating mothers. I felt really comfortable utilising the room in terms of the ambience and space. The availability of a fridge to store our expressed milk and a steriliser to sterilise our pumps after each session is excellent. I highly recommend the room for any lactating mothers who wish to express their milk with the much needed privacy and ambience.”
- Ms Yvonne Yeo, Senior Staff Nurse, Case Management
 
To find out more about Changi General Hospital, please visit: http://www.cgh.com.sg

 

Subsidy for Gym Membership Definition

Support your employees’ physical fitness. You may give a subsidy for Gym Membership by paying a certain amount for your employee’s membership in a gym. The amount of subsidy varies and this may be in conjunction with your company’s partnerships with specific gyms.

 

Takeaway Food Services Definition

As a way to support your employees, you may partner with the staff canteen vendor or an external vendor to provide takeaway food services for your employees and their families. Such services help your employees manage the responsibility of preparing meals for their family after returning home from work. 

 

Talks and Workshops on Work-Life Integration
 

Success Stories

 
Definition
 
It always pays to be reminded. When you organise talks and workshops on Work-Life Integration, you remind your employees on ways they can manage the demands of work and personal/family needs, enhance family relationships and/or cope with family responsibilities, etc. while pursuing a satisfying career.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Success Stories
 
 
About National Heart Centre of Singapore
 
 
The National Heart Centre (NHC) of Singapore Pte Ltd is the national referral centre for cardiovascular diseases in Singapore with 185 in-patient beds and comprising over 700 healthcare staff. It has the largest team of heart specialists locally.
 
Observing that one third of its staff is above 40 years old, NHC actively sends its mature staff for the SingHealth’s Silver Connection programme. It also fervently rolls out its “Arrows with SoulTM” programme to enhance staff’s personal work-life effectiveness. Besides enriching the staff individually, the management wants to demonstrate the value it places on its staff and to retain the rich experience of mature workers. NHC has been achieving low attrition rate since 2002, while improving service quality and financial strength.
 
National Heart Centre Singapore was awarded the Work-Life Achiever Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes
 
SingHealth Silver Connection Programme. One third of NHC staff are above 40, thus the Centre proactively participates in the SingHealth Silver Connection Programme which has a customised a 2.5 day Personal Effectiveness and Financial Planning workshop specifically for matured workers.
 
Arrows with SoulTM Programme. The SingHealth Silver Connection Programme dovetails into NHC’s work-life programme “Arrows with SoulTM”. This programme helps employees see the importance of integrating work, family and self and to take charge of their lives. The management has received positive feedback from staff after the launch of the 2 programmes.
 
New programmes are constantly being planned every year to help staff enhance their work-life effectiveness.
 
Leave Benefits – Birthday Leave
 
NHC affirms and treats its employees to a day’s leave on their birthdays and presents them with a birthday gift and card personally signed by the Medical Director.
 
Employee Quote
 
“I attended the Arrows with Soul course in 2006. The course was a stepping stone that made me reflect into what has been going on in my life. I realised that, while I busied myself with work, I had neglected other important areas like social life, self-enrichment and spiritual and physical aspects. From the exercises, I reorganised my focus to balance in the various areas.
 
Now, I am glad to say that I have a challenging job in NHC, and I am learning piano (something which I have always wanted to do). I joined a gym last year and started exercising, attend church for spiritual/religious support, and most importantly, I spend quality time with my loved ones. I still keep the bottle from the course activity in my office so that it serves as a reminder to me!”
- Ms Angela Ho, Manager in Medical Records Office
 
To find out more about NHC, please visit: http://www.nhc.com.sg
 
 
 
About Maybank
 
The Maybank Group is the largest banking group in Malaysia and has a presence in 12 countries and was ranked fifth in an annual survey of Asia's Best Big Banks. The bank's largest overseas operation is in Singapore with 1,200 employees. Staff productivity indicators show improvement over the last few years despite a small variation in headcount. Its Employee Engagement Index also shows improvement, bringing the performance rating from “Exceeded” to “Stretched”. Despite an attractive job market, staff turnover is below the financial services industry norm.
 
Maybank views its people as “key value creators”. Its work-life policies demonstrate the bank's drive to nurture its "value creators" and make the bank a compelling place to work in. Employees have given positive feedback on the bank’s policies and identification with the bank is strong; employees have coined a new term for themselves – ‘Maybankers’. The bank aims to build cohesiveness, closeness, support and familiarity with one another as one big Maybank family. For their work-life polices, Maybank won the Work-Life Excellence Award 2008.
 
Employee Support Schemes - Pro-Family Culture
The Bank started a “Wellness Our Way” (WOW) initiative to promote mental and physical wellbeing among the staff. It organises lunch talks on family and health matters (which received an enthusiastic response), exercise classes like Dancercise and recreational workshops. This WOW initiative is supported by the senior management. The Chief Executive Officer and senior management often share their thoughts on the importance of a balanced work-life during staff induction, staff functions, retreats, dialogue sessions and social gatherings. Maybank also has a “Dress-down Friday” policy for non-Branch staff to promote a friendlier and more conducive working environment. Maybank has gone beyond the industry norm by allowing denim jeans and collared T-shirts on Fridays. This has resulted in a relaxed office atmosphere on Fridays with staff looking forward to the weekend.
 
Flexible Work Arrangements – Part Time and Staggered Hours
 
Maybank has a 5-day work week and staff are given the flexibility to opt for part time work, and arrange their start and end times so as to incorporate family or personal demands into their schedule. This flexibility encourages employees to pursue further academic qualifications and a better family life, including procreation!
 
To find out more about Maybank, please visit: http://www.maybank.com.sg

 

Team/Company Celebrations Definition

You can promote team or company unity and solidarity by organising events and activities to celebrate specific events or special occasions. Perk up your employees’ work life through celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, Dinner & Dance, and the like.

 

Transport Assistance

Definition

By supporting your employees through the use of company vehicles, you help them meet their personal and family needs. Transport Assistance may include the loan of company cars to your employees over the weekend, so that they can drive to Malaysia to visit their families, or for use locally to bring their families out.

Another example is the loan of bicycles to your foreign employees who live in hostels near the workplace, so that they can cycle to work, or engaging a shuttle bus to pick your employees up from specified locations and bring them to your office. This is especially relevant in instances where the office is located in less accessible/convenient areas.

 

Work-Life Conference/
Forum for Employers

Definition

Keep your organisation abreast with the latest insights, implementation methodologies, and best practices by sending key personnel to attend Work-Life Conferences where prominent speakers and well known organisations (local and international) with good Work-Life practices speak on the topic and share their experiences and best practices.

Examples of such conferences include the annual Work-Life Conference organised by the Tripartite Committee for Work-Life Strategy in Singapore, and the annual Work-Life Conference held in the US, etc.

 

Work-Life Training for Middle Managers Definition

Supporting your Middle Managers with the proper training on Work-Life Integration issues, (e.g. managing staff on flexible work arrangements), facilitates their Work-Life Integration within the business unit.