Flexible work arrangements and other practices

24 August 2017

Today’s workforce demands now mirror findings from leading human resource research institutionsi. Research has shown that providing employees with work-life friendly workplaces increases engagement, productivity, performance, job satisfaction, while lowering absenteeism. Creating a work-life friendly workplace also allows Singapore SMBs access to a talent pool that was previously inaccessible due to rigid and traditional management ways.


To help local companies appeal to Singaporeans from different demographic groups, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), along with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), have been working with partners like the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) to develop the WorkPro scheme.


The goal of the scheme is to empower SMBs with the capabilities and mindset necessary for transforming their businesses with flexible work arrangements (FWA) to keep up with the changing times. The WorkPro scheme is made up of three main grants—adding up to $480,000. All local companies are entitled to sign up for these grants. Here are some methods in which your business can apply for them.

Implementing work-life strategiesii with the Work-Life Grantii (Up to $160,000)


There are two parts to this grant—the Development Grant, and the FWA incentive. The Development Grant (up to $40,000) is designed to help businesses defray the costs of adopting and implementing an FWA strategy. Payments from this grant will be given according to the milestonesiii that a business achieves. 


Essentially, your business needs to implement FWA policies like tele-commuting, staggered work hours and special leave options for your employees. These policies allow your employees to get work done on their terms, resulting in happier, more productive employees.


The next phase of the grant is an incentive (up to $120,000) for employers that have successfully implemented an FWA (partial or full), to sustain their work-life friendly workplaces. There are several clauses to obtain this grantiii.

Retain experienced workforce through the Job Redesign Grantiv (Up to $300,000)


Similar to Asian countries like Japan, our current workforce is ageing rapidlyv. However, this also means that there is a wealth of experience and energy that businesses can tap into. Through the Job Redesign Grant, businesses can utilise funds of up to $300,000 by creating physically safer and smarter jobs for older employees (50 years and above).


For instance, businesses can add non-slip tiles, or railings that enhance work premise safety conditions, or invest in communications technology to lower walking distances. If your business has groups with different needs, you can also apply for multiple Job Redesign projects to benefit them.


Businesses keen to take advantage of this scheme can refer to the systematic Job Redesign Toolkit.vi If you’d like to engage an external consultant to help with Job Redesign, there is a list of SPRING approved consultantsvi that you can choose from to help you get startedvii.  

Build an age-friendly workplace with the Age Management Grantviii (Up to $20,000)


Like the Job Redesign Grant, the Age Management Grant had also been developed with the pioneer generation in mind. The grant enables businesses access to a fund (up to $20,000) that helps them adopt progressive, age-friendly policies and practices that encourage the employment of older workers.


The Age Management Grant is available for businesses that engage in seven key areas of age management practicesx.

a) Fair employment

b) Re-employment

c) Job redesign

d) Flexible work arrangements

e) Performance management

f) Well-being programmes

g) Multi-generational workforce


For companies looking to implement an age-friendly workplace, there is a SNEF-developed Age Management Toolkitx they can refer to.


Tapping into this large pool of WorkPro grants and incentivesxi can require some effort on your part. However, the improvements in productivity and human resource management in your business are well worth the effort, regardless of the grants. Take the first step in ensuring that your business is strengthening its Singaporean core with the WorkPro scheme today. 


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