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DBS employees may take up voluntary job-sharing scheme with pro-rated pay and benefits

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s largest bank DBS has rolled out a voluntary job-sharing scheme to allow two employees to divide the workload of one person between them, it said on Tuesday (Nov 17).

The task force found that four in five of staff members from DBS bank are able to work seamlessly outside of the office.

The task force found that four in five of staff members from DBS bank are able to work seamlessly outside of the office.

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  • A new job-sharing scheme for DBS employees is voluntary
  • It allows them to pursue work flexibility
  • An internal task force found that four in five of the bank’s employees could work remotely without issues
  • All staff members will be allowed to work remotely up to 40 per cent of the time
  • Other initiatives by the bank include a drive towards unconventional project management teams 

 

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s largest bank DBS has rolled out a voluntary job-sharing scheme to allow two employees to divide the workload of one person between them, it said on Tuesday (Nov 17). 

The bank will also be allowing all of its 29,000 employees to work remotely by up to 40 per cent of the time, or two days in a five-day work week. More part-time work arrangements will also be introduced, it said in a statement.

Mr Piyush Gupta, the bank’s chief executive officer, said: “As the way we live, bank and work continues to change dramatically, we must address the magnitude of the disruptions before us. 

“We are prepared to radically transform the way we work by introducing a comprehensive range of measures.”

Announcing the flexible work schemes at a virtual video-conferencing session with its employees on Tuesday (Nov 17) afternoon, the bank said that some of its staff members have already signed up for the new arrangement. 

Job-sharing schemes are not new. Several Singapore companies, such as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and accountancy firm EY, have already adopted such arrangements.

In May last year, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) launched a guide for businesses seeking to implement job sharing.

Among other things, it spells out how companies should put in place formal arrangements to redistribute workload among existing employees or new hires, and how to remunerate accordingly.

To encourage job sharing, MOM gives out a Job Sharing Incentive of up to S$35,000 to each company that supports its employees who are professionals, managers, executives and technicians with such arrangements.

DBS said that its employees on the scheme will retain all existing medical benefits in full and continue to be covered under the company’s insurance plans.

However, salaries, annual leave, and other benefits will be pro-rated for personnel on job sharing or part-time work programmes. 

DBS employees are expected to speak to their managers about the various options in the coming days, and the bank does not have a target for the number of sign-ups it expects. 

Rather than it being a cost-cutting measure, the scheme is meant to provide employees flexibility at work, allowing them to pursue their personal interests and also enabling the bank to attract and retain talent.

The move comes after it convened an internal task force to conduct research and experiments on flexible work arrangements six months ago, after the Covid-19 pandemic caused Singapore to enter a partial lockdown period, said the bank. 

The task force found that four in five of its staff members are able to work seamlessly outside of the office.

Around 3,000 Singapore staff members also said that they preferred a mix of working from the home and the office, instead of working exclusively from either, the bank said.

For now, its job-sharing scheme is more feasible for roles that are mainly operational and in the back office, although the bank is also exploring the option to expand the scheme to other emerging job roles.

They include “agile coaches” and “scrum masters” — who are part of an unconventional project management team that do not have strictly defined roles or hierarchies.

DBS also said that it will accelerate its transition towards more of such “data-driven squads” to other parts of the company. Such an operating model is mainly adopted for certain technology-related roles for now.

The bank will also train more than 7,200 employees, including 4,300 in Singapore, with skills such as design thinking, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, as well as the “agile” model of work.

“By implementing these measures, we believe that Team DBS will emerge as a confident future-ready workforce,” Mr Gupta, who became the bank’s CEO in 2009, said.

The bank has been named as the world’s best bank by several global publications.

Last week, the United Overseas Bank announced that the majority of its 26,000-strong workforce will be able to work remotely for two days a week, even after Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

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