Singapore’s biggest bank, DBS, will be rolling out a new job-sharing scheme which will help employees who need more flexible work arrangements, on top of other initiatives focused at changing the way its staff work in a post-pandemic era.
DBS said on Tuesday (17 November) that under the scheme, two employees will be sharing the responsibilities of one full-time role. This allows the bank to operate successfully in split teams over the last few months.
Additionally, employees under the scheme will also keep all existing medical benefits in full and continue to be covered under DBS’s insurance plans.
The bank will also offer more part-time work arrangements. The Straits Times (ST) reported that this scheme is done on a voluntary basis and not introduced as part of cost-cutting measures.
According to an implementation guide about the scheme by the Ministry of Manpower and the Singapore National Employers Federation, job sharing is a flexible work arrangement in which two or more individuals share the responsibilities of a single full-time job.
The job can be segregated based on function, geography, time or workload, and the arrangement needs a proper handover of duties.
However, job-sharing scheme is not common in Singapore. In fact, only 1.3 per cent of companies in the city-state offered such opportunities as at June 2019. The wages of staff under this scheme is adjusted based on their new work arrangements.
Singapore Human Resources Institute president Low Peck Kem said that this scheme is not common in Singapore as it makes companies manage multiple employees for one full-time job and not many of companies have benefitted cost-wise as a result of it.
However, she explained that if the scheme is used properly, it can assist firms in retaining talent and improve productivity.
“The benefits for employees are clearly the choice to have flexible work arrangements, suited to different stages of an employee’s life. Employees can meaningfully contribute to the economy as well as balance other life interests,” she said, as reported by ST.
DBS to allow remote working
If that’s not all, DBS Bank will also allow employees to work up to 40 per cent of their work time remotely. The bank will also come up with more “project-specific, data-driven squads”, as opposed to the conventional functional departments.
DBS has 12,000 employees in Singapore. More than 7,200 staff across the bank – 4,300 of whom are based in Singapore – will also be upskilled or reskilled in other areas like design thinking, data and analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“As the way we live, bank and work continue 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 which include (these initiatives),” said DBS chief Piyush Gupta.
Besides DBS, United Overseas Bank also announced last week that it will be giving the majority of its employees the choice to work remotely two days a week after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Standard Chartered also recently said that it would allow staff in nine markets to apply for formal flexi-working arrangements.