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COVID-Safe Worker Accommodation and Transport

Summary of Cohorting Requirements [Updated on 14 August]


Note: With effect from 10 August 2020, the requirement for the workforce on construction sites and supply work premises to be limited to only 10 accommodations will be temporarily suspended to facilitate restart. Employers should still work towards housing their foreign workers together by project, but minimally by employer (preferably by the project sites they are deployed at) in as few accommodations as possible.

Cohorting requirements

[1] Type of work pass includes all Foreign Employees holding Work Permit or S-Pass in the construction sector

[2] Part time construction-site based employees should not be living in the same accommodation (for those living in non-dormitories) or room (for those living in dormitories or Government Sourced Facilities) as (a) non-construction site-based SP/WP holders (b) full time construction-site based SP/WP holders.

[3] Full time construction-site based employees should not be living in the same accommodation (for those living in non-dormitories) or room (for those living in dormitories or Government Sourced Facilities) as (a) non-construction site-based SP/WP holders (b) part-time construction site-based SP/WP holders.

[4] This excludes landed housing projects with less than 50 Work Permit (WP) holders in an application. Notwithstanding, employers are to (a) implement Safe Management Measures (SMM) on site as well as necessary hygiene precautions and practices at accommodation; (b) provide dedicated transport for their workers;

Summary of COVID-safe Dedicated Transport Requirements [Updated on 21 July]

Summary Table C-Safe Transport

[1] Type of work pass includes all Foreign Employees holding work permits or S passes in the construction sector
[2] Non-dormitories include HDB and private residential properties
[3] Dormitories include purpose built dorms, factory converted dorms, temporary occupation license quarters, construction temporary quarters and temporary living quarters
[4] Government Sourced Facilities are facilities set up by government for workers who have recovered from COVID-19 or decanted from dormitories. The workers staying there who are allowed to work would require dedicated transport to ferry them to/from worksites and accommodation.
[5] This includes those who only work within the site office
[6] Passengers of such vehicles must be from the same work site to prevent any inter-mixing of workers.

Updated on 17 September

[Updated on 21 July]
Can a Factory-Converted Dormitory (FCD) housing only workers of the same contractor but working on different sites be considered a dedicated accommodation?

Yes. Within the FCD, the premises have to be compartmentalised into separate zones so that workers working on different project sites do not mix with each other. Communal facilities such as toilets, and shower rooms also have to be separated and assigned to workers on different project sites. The contractor must put in place control measures to prevent the intermixing of workers. For example, installing CCTV for monitoring of workers or installation of physical barriers.

Can a Construction Temporary Quarters (CTQ) housing workers of the site, and workers of the same contractor/subcontractor but working at other sites be considered a dedicated accommodation?

No. The workers are not allowed to work on other sites.

[Updated on 21 July]
Are Private Residential Properties (PRP) considered a dedicated accommodation for site-based construction workers?

Yes, provided that all the workers living at the PRP are working at the same construction site.

[Updated on 14 August]
Is the limit on the number of addresses count applicable to certain type of accommodations only?

No, the limit on the number of addresses will be applicable to all type of accommodations including dormitories (PBDs & FCD), on-site housing (CTQ/TLQ/TOLQ) and HDB/PRPs.

However, with effect from 10 August 2020, the requirement for the workforce on construction sites and supply work premises to be limited to only 10 accommodations will be temporarily suspended to facilitate restart. During this time, employers should work towards housing their foreign workers together by project, but minimally by employer (preferably by the project sites they are deployed at).

[Added on 21 July]
What are the specifications required for the Construction Temporary Quarters (CTQs) and the Temporary Occupation License Quarters (TOLQs)?
[Updated on 17 Sept]
Are there any alternative dedicated accommodations that contractors can consider to house their workers in?

There are about 75 hostel properties and 3500 available bed spaces to house foreign workers. Contractors may consider these alternative housing arrangements for their workers. Contractors and Employers may approach the hostels directly to discuss the housing arrangements and to ensure that the proper Safe Accommodation requirements and relevant SMMs are in place. Similarly, Contractors may also choose to house workers in hotels provided that the Safe Accommodation requirements are met and the relevant SMMs are in place too.

The list of hostels for use as alternative dedicated accommodations can be found here:
https://go.gov.sg/bca-hostels-alt-accom

[Updated on 21 July]
I have some employees currently living in a HDB/PRP and they need to work at the same location as workers living in a dormitory (i.e. working on same project). Do those employees living in the HDB/PRP need to move into the same dormitory as the workers?

It is not necessary for employers to cohort these HDB/PRP employees into dormitories. However, employers are to take note of the cohorting requirements (i.e. cohorting by employ/project teams, segregation between construction site-based workers and non-construction site-based workers) and safe management measures as presented in [link to transport table].

Notably, for full time work permit holders working at construction sites (excluding projects with a value of less than $3 million), the main contractor is required to cohort the main workforce of each project (including those of the main contractor and subcontractors) into 10 or less accommodation addresses[1]. Employers will have to consider how to cohort  their workers, including those who are staying in HDB/PRP, to meet this requirement.

Note [1]: With effect from 10 August 2020, the requirement for the workforce on construction sites and supply work premises to be limited to only 10 accommodations will be temporarily suspended to facilitate restart. During this time, employers should work towards housing their foreign workers together by project, but minimally by employer (preferably by the project sites they are deployed at).

[Updated on 21 July]
Are my workers who are not staying in the specified dormitories allowed to take public transport during their off-days and non-working hours?

For workers not staying in dormitories, there are currently no guidelines or requirements on the workers’ transportation on off-days and non-working hours. Employers are encouraged to refer to MOM's website for new updates from time to time.

In the meantime, employers should identify risks and request employees to avoid unnecessary commute during their off-day or non-working hours if the employees are assessed to be of higher risk of being infected with COVID-19 due to the role they play at the construction site. Where possible, employers may assist employees with their errands (i.e. purchase of groceries, provision of meals) to reduce their exposure to the public which may increase their chances of infection and pose risk to their projects.

[Updated on 14 August]
How should companies and dorm operators initiate the worker cohorting process in PBDs and FCDs? 

The roles and responsibilities of employers and dormitories operators for cohorting  has been outlined in Annex A of the Circular on Cohorting Exercise for Construction, Process and Marine Sector Workers residing within FEDA-licensed dormitories issued on 7 Aug 2020. The circular may be accessible via the following webpage: https://go.gov.sg/bca-circular-cohorting-exercise

[Updated on 14 August]
Are workers residing in PBDs and FCDs allowed to return to work while worker cohorting is underway? 

We recognise that the cohorting exercise will take some time to complete. In the meantime, workers with green AccessCode can leave the dormitories for work. However, employers are to take extra precaution in reminding and ensuring their workers practise safe living and distancing measures at work sites and dormitories during the transition and after the cohorting exercise.

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