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The Employment (Amendment) Act 2021, which will come into force on 1 September 2022, introduced flexible working arrangement for employees.

The relevant sections are Sections 60P and 60Q of the Employment Act 1955:

“Part XIIC


Flexible working arrangement

60P. (1) Subject to Part XII or anything contained in the contract of service, an employee may apply to an employer for a flexible working arrangement to vary the hours of work, days of work or place of work in relation to his employment.

(2) Where there is a collective agreement, any application made by the employee under subsection (1) shall be consistent with the terms and conditions in the collective agreement.

Application for flexible working arrangement

60Q. (1) The employee shall make an application for flexible working arrangement under section 60P in writing and in the form and manner as may be determined by the Director General.

(2) Upon the application made under subsection (1), an employer shall, within sixty days from the date such application is received, approve or refuse the application.

(3) The employer shall inform the employee in writing of the employer’s approval or refusal of the application under subsection (1) and in the case of a refusal, the employer shall state the ground of such refusal.”

In summary:

(a) Employees are entitled to apply for flexible working arrangements;

(b) Employers can approve or refuse applications for flexible working arrangements; and

(c) In the event of refusal, employers must inform employees in writing regarding the ground(s) of refusal.

At the time of writing, only employees covered by the scope of the Employment Act 1955 are legally entitled to apply for flexible working arrangements.

Having said that, the Human Resources Minister has indicated that he will be issuing an order to expand the scope of the Employment Act 1955 to cover all employees regardless of wages.

In the event such a ministerial order is issued, all employees (regardless of wages) will be legally entitled to apply for flexible working arrangements.

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