Covid-19: Employers advised to allow, support workers to take on second jobs to supplement income
SINGAPORE — Employees are typically not allowed to moonlight but given the economic fallout caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, employers are being advised to allow their workers to seek out additional part-time employment to supplement their income during periods where there is no work.
“This will help to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on their livelihoods,” read an advisory that was released on the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) website on Monday (March 30) evening.
“Employers are encouraged to waive contractual prohibitions against taking on a second job and help employees resolve conflicts of interest where possible given that they initiated the reduced work hours and reduced salaries to save costs.”
The advisory comes hours after the National Wages Council, which is made up by members of the tripartite body — MOM, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation — announced guidelines on how to cut salaries responsibly and how wages should be restored as soon as business recovers.
Setting out the terms for allowing employees to do so, the advisory said that workers can take on a second job as long as there are neither prohibitions in their current employment contract nor conflicts of interest with their current employment.
In the event there is a conflict of interest or work scheduling, the advisory states that employees should discuss and clarify this with both employers.
Taking on a second job should not compromise the interests of each employer and employees should be transparent in terms of the requirements of both jobs to their employers.
“This would help to prevent downstream disputes over work schedules, salaries and other employment benefits,” it explained.
The advisory also detailed the principles on sharing responsibilities between the first and second employer.
It said that during the period employees are scheduled to work for the first employer, the company will be responsible for the worker’s salary, Central Provident Fund contributions, and statutory and contractual benefits which may be pro-rated based on the reduced work hours.
For the period when employees are working for their second employer, the first employer will not be responsible for any contractual or statutory obligations.
As for the second employer, the advisory stated that they will be responsible for fulfilling the key terms and conditions specified in the employment contract when the employee is working for them.
Employers, who take on workers who already have full-time jobs, are encouraged to provide their part-time employees with sick leave entitlement and medical benefits, even though the employment duration may be less than three months.
The advisory reiterated that under the Employment Act, employees who have worked for three months or more are entitled to paid outpatient sick leave and paid hospitalisation leave.
“Employers should be considerate and supportive towards employees’ circumstances during this period,” said the advisory.