Up to 6 Months’ Jail for Your Boss If He Doesn’t Allow You to Work From Home When You Can

If you’ve been working from home for the last few weeks, good for you: your boss’s a socially responsible person who doesn’t need the law to keep him in check.

If, for some reason, you’ve just been told to work from home from tomorrow onwards, then your boss’s probably someone who doesn’t kick a cat on the street simply because he’s afraid that he’d be Stomped.

Because in yet another update in the Infectious Diseases Act, an act you probably didn’t know exist until recently, it’s now illegal for him or her to keep you in the office if you can do your stuff at home.

Telecommuting Now Compulsory if It’s Practical

Are you in the office simply because your boss wants to keep an eye on you?

If so, then it’s now not legal.

In the update, employers must direct employees to work from home if it is possible. No laptop at home and you’re using a CRT monitor in the office? Your employer must still provide the facilities for you to work at home—that means carrying that big CRT monitor to your house.

Image: PR Image Factory / Shutterstock.com

No internet at home? Then you’re not a human being, so I congratulate you for being able to click into this article even when you’re a cat.

If your boss doesn’t do that and he or she has no reasonable excuse (his lame excuse: to ensure that you won’t eat snake), he could be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.

But no, it’s still not a lockdown.

However, what if your job scope doesn’t allow telecommuting? For example, you’re a factory operator, and without you, the machines would fly off your factory to Yishun.

Image: Bannafarsai_Stock / SHutterstock.com (Image for illustration purpose only)

Which brings us to the next point:

Safe Distancing Imperative

If telecommuting is not an option, then the employer must ensure that employees’ working hours to be staggered, and everyone must keep one metre’s distance from each other—including queues at the pantry or water dispenser.

The employer must’ve told the employees about these rules or the employer will be liable to a fine of up to S$10,000, up to six months’ imprisonment, or both.

Kind of like what instructors / commanders have to say before conducting any training in NS.

In addition, unless an event is critical to the company’s operations or it is a training or educational activity, these events must be cancelled.

The same penalty applies to employers who still die-die want to conduct the event.

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And within the workplace, these rules must be followed:

  • Allow natural ventilation in the workplace during working hours, as far as possible.
  • Take the body temperature of every individual entering the workplace – even if he or she is not an employee there
  • Obtain and keep the contact of every individual entering the workplace.
  • Refuse entry to anyone who is unwell or who refuses to comply with the previous two steps.
  • If someone is found to be unwell at the workplace, the person has to be given a mask and told to wear it, leave the workplace or be isolated.
  • Employers must not permit and refuse entry to employees subjected to movement control measures to enter the workplace. These include employees issued with the 14-day Stay-Home Notice, or medical leave.

Your employer might be shivering now and getting everyone to work from home, but you as an employee must do your part, too.

If not you’d also have a free trip to Changi Prison.

Employees Who Still Go to Work When They’re Unwell Will be Punished

If you’re showing symptom or feeling unwell, you must stay at home. Or if you feel unwell while working, you need to inform your supervisor immediately .

If you don’t comply, you’d be slapped with the same penalty: a fine of up to S$10,000, up to six months’ imprisonment, or both.

In other words, whether you’re an employer or an employee, just be socially responsible and this article would’ve nothing to do with you.


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Yes, it’s for that boss who likes to kick cats but didn’t do so because of the laws.

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:
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This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying: