Hybrid work: It's time employment policies caught up
The Straits Times|January 18, 2022
The shift towards flexible, remote, gig or freelance work raises questions on matters related to compensation, taxes and CPF contributions
Shazly Zain

Working from home has been the default since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Now, 50 per cent of employees who can work from home will be allowed to return to the office.

While this means face-to-face meetings and in-person conversations are finally possible, employers and employees will have more adjustments to make.

Among other things, company human resource policies and labour regulations will need to play catch-up with the new hybrid work environment and the complications that arise.

Hybrid work is not simply about how many days one must turn up in the office a week or redesigning the office – the physical environment – to accommodate such changes.

The hybrid employment model is an employment system that enables employees to blend working from different locations together and promotes active control or autonomy over work. It involves legal and pocketbook issues as well because of the shift towards flexible, remote, gig or freelance work.

For instance, hybrid work enables companies based in Singapore to tap the global talent market by providing flexible working arrangements. However, companies will need to verify if Singaporean labour laws or those in the hybrid employees’ location are applicable to them.

As well, a hybrid employee is not the same as a typical salaried employee working in the office. Questions will arise as to how to differentiate the benefits and compensation structures for traditional salaried employees from those who opt for more flexible hybrid employment.

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