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Staggered Rest Days FAQs

Updated on 18 August 2020

Introduction to Staggered Rest Days

[Added on 12 August]
What is staggered rest days and why do we need to implement it?

Staggered rest days is a new measure introduced by MOM to ensure safe rest days for dormitory residents. As outlined by MOM in their press release on 30 May, this includes allowing workers to exit the dormitories for personal errands on staggered rest days during staggered time slots, in order to reduce risk of cross infection among workers.  Staggering rest days will spread out the number of workers exiting their dormitories for personal errands evenly across the week. It is an important measure to help our workers enjoy their rest days safely while mitigating the risks of COVID transmissions.

[Updated on 18 August]
Which workers are subject to Staggered Rest Days?

All Work Permit and S-Pass holders of Construction (hired under construction accounts), Marine and Process sectors, are subject to staggered rest days. This includes those who do not reside in dormitories and who are not deployed to sites. 

[Added on 12 August]
Are Singapore Citizens/ Permanent Residents/ Employment Pass holders/ Dependent Pass holders subject to Staggered Rest Days?

No. Staggered rest days will not apply to Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, Employment Pass and Dependent Pass holders. However, work schedules may change as a result of implementing staggered rest days for Work Permit and S Pass holders. For example, some construction sites may start working on Sundays if their assigned rest day is on another day of the week. This could affect other employees such as supervisory staff. We encourage firms to communicate the implementation of staggered rest days to all their employees and to explore options to minimize the impact of staggered rest days to other employees.

[Updated on 18 August]
I hire Work Permit and S Pass holders under non-construction accounts such as manufacturing and services. Are they also subject to staggered rest days?

No. Staggered rest days only applies to Work Permit and S Pass holders hired under Construction, Marine and Process accounts.

[Updated on 13 August]
My Work Permit/ S Pass Holder does not work on site and does not reside in a dormitory (e.g. HDB/PRP). Can he be exempted from staggered rest days?

To minimize the risk of COVID infections and potential work stoppages, All Work Permit and S Pass Holders hired under Construction, Marine and Process accounts, are subject to staggered rest days, including those who are not deployed to sites and/or are not residing in dormitories.

For workers not deployed to construction sites, firms may select a rest day between Monday to Saturday for each of them (can be different for each worker). From 19 August onwards, firms with workers approved to work will also be receiving an email notification titled “Staggered Rest Days for Your Workers” which will contain detailed instructions on the next steps. You may refer to the relevant infographic at https://go.gov.sg/bca-staggered-rest-day for further information.


How will staggered rest days be assigned?

[Added on 12 August]
How will I find out what my assigned rest day is?

For workers deployed to construction sites, BCA will assign a rest day to the project. You will receive an email notification from BCA on your assigned rest day entitled “Staggered Rest Day for Your Workers”, after your application for restart has been approved. Following that, you may view or update the rest day for each of your workers on MOM’s Safe@Work system when you receive the email notification*.

For workers not deployed to construction sites, you may select a rest day based on the assignment framework stipulated in the BCA-MOM circular issued on 12 August 2020, on MOM’s Safe@Work system.

*This is a separate email notification from the Approval for Restart

[Added on 12 August]
Will MOM/BCA inform my workers on their assigned rest day?

No. Employers are responsible for informing their workers on their assigned rest days and if there are any subsequent changes.

[Added on 12 August]
Why can some workers rest on Sunday? Can I appeal for my worker to rest on Sunday?

Workers deployed to projects and works that cannot take place on Sunday will be assigned Sunday as a rest day. These include projects that are affected by the NEA’s No-Work-Rule on Sundays and Public Holidays and renovation work.

To cater for these workers who are unable to rest on other days, we are unable to accede to requests for other workers to rest on Sundays. However, if there are legitimate reasons, for example, your worker has been re-deployed to a project affected by NEA’s No-Work-Rule on Sundays and Public Holidays, please submit the FormSG here.

[Added on 12 August]
My worker is submitted for approval under a few processes in BCA’s Application for Restart and I have received notifications for different rest days. Which one should I follow?

If your worker is deployed full-time to a specific construction site, please follow the rest day for the project while he is deployed to the construction site.

If he subsequently moves to another construction site, you may update the rest day on MOM's Safe@Work system. If your worker serves multiple projects at the same time, or is only deployed to a site part-time, you may select a rest day between Monday to Friday that best meets his working schedule. You may update the rest day in MOM’s Safe@Work system after you have received email notification* on your assigned rest day.

Firms are strongly encouraged to spread the rest days of their workers evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible, to avoid a crowding of workers resting on Saturday. This is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of possible disruptions. To safeguard Saturday for workers who are unable to rest on a weekday, firms would have to submit an appeal to BCA at FormSG should you wish to change your workers’ rest day to Saturday or select Saturday as a rest day. Your appeal will be granted if there are legitimate reasons i.e. workers are working for project with rest day on Saturday or if there is proof of contractual obligations requiring their services only on weekdays.

*This is a separate email notification from the Approval for Restart, entitled “Staggered Rest Day for Your Workers”.

[Added on 12 August]
For construction sites projects or supply works, my workers are not approved to work/ pending approval for restart/ have yet to be submitted for restart, would staggered rest days also apply to them? What is their rest day?

Firms are not required to select a rest day in MOM’s Safe@Work system until their workers are approved to work by BCA. Firms will receive a separate notification on the workers’ rest day arrangements from BCA, entitled “Staggered Rest Day for Your Workers” once they have been approved for restart. 


What do I need to do after receiving notification from BCA?

[Added on 12 August]
What do I need to do after I receive notification of my rest day?

If your worker is deployed full time to a single construction project site and the project has been assigned a rest day by BCA, you should log into MOM’s Safe@Work system after you have been notified by BCA via email on your assigned rest day entitled “Staggered Rest Day for Your Workers”, to verify that your worker’s rest day is correctly reflected.

If your worker is not deployed to a construction site or is deployed part-time* to multiple sites, you may select a rest day between Monday to Friday that best meets his working schedule. You may update the rest day in MOM’s Safe@Work system three working days after you have received email notification on your assigned rest day.

Firms are strongly encouraged to spread their rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible, to avoid a crowding of workers resting on Saturday. This is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of possible disruptions. To safeguard Saturday for workers who are unable to rest on a weekday, firms would have to submit an appeal to BCA at FormSG should you wish to change your workers’ rest day to Saturday or select Saturday as a rest day. Your appeal will be granted if there are legitimate reasons i.e. workers are working for project with rest day on Saturday or if there is proof of contractual obligations requiring their services only on weekdays.

If your worker is required to rest on a new day, please inform him of his new rest day.

*For workers who work on a project site for A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME (less than 6 weeks at the project site within a 3-month window)

[Added on 12 August]
Do I need to implement the new rest day immediately?

We understand that firms will need time to adjust their business practices and manpower deployment to implement their new rest day. Hence, you will be given one-month grace period from the date of notification entitled “Staggered Rest Day for Your Workers”, to implement your new rest day.

In the meantime, if your workers have met all the criteria to exit their dormitories (please refer to MOM’s website for more details), they can apply for an Exit Pass from MOM on their SGWorkPass app, which will provide a specific exit time slot.

Firm should communicate the importance of new rest day arrangement and the implementation details with employees.

[Added on 12 August]
I am unable to switch to my new rest day within a month, can I appeal for more time?

As far as possible, please implement your new rest day within a month. For extenuating circumstances, please write in to bca_saferestday@bca.gov.sg.

[Added on 12 August]
What should you do if you did not receive a notification entitled “Staggered Rest Day for Your Workers” from BCA?

Step 1: If you have received the Approval for Restart from BCA and 7 days later, you still have yet to receive the notification on your assigned rest day, you may write to bca_saferestday@bca.gov.sg  to check on the status of your rest day assignment.

Step 2: From 10 August 2020, all firms employing foreign workers registered with MOM under the Construction Account (foreign construction workers) are allowed to resume work without applying to BCA for approval, unless workers are deployed to perform work at construction sites or supply work premises. If you can resume work without applying to BCA for approval, you may go to MOM’s Safe@Work system to select a rest day between Monday to Saturday.

Firms are strongly encouraged to spread their rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible, to avoid a crowding of workers resting on Saturday. This is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of possible disruptions. To safeguard Saturday for workers who are unable to rest on a weekday, firms would have to submit an appeal to BCA at FormSG should you wish to change your workers’ rest day to Saturday or select Saturday as a rest day. Your appeal will be granted if there are legitimate reasons i.e. workers are working for project with rest day on Saturday or if there is proof of contractual obligations requiring their services only on weekdays.

If your worker is required to rest on a new day, please inform him of his new rest day.

For renovation firms, you are required to submit an appeal to BCA at FormSG in order to have a rest day on Sunday.


What can my workers do on their rest days?

[Added on 12 August]
Can my workers work on their assigned rest days?

Yes, workers can work on the assigned rest day under the arrangement of firm, so long as Part IV of the Employment Act is met.

[Added on 12 August]
If my worker’s rest day is not on Sunday, will he be allowed to exit his dormitory on Sunday for work?

Yes. If your worker has obtained approval to start work and his Access Code is green, he may leave his dormitory for work purposes on any day of the week.

[Added on 12 August]
My worker currently has Sunday as his rest day and is paid overtime when I need him to work on Sunday. If his rest day changes to another day of the week, must I still pay him overtime pay on Sundays?

No. Under the Employment Act, employers have to provide at least one rest day per week. If his rest day is not on Sunday, you need not pay him overtime for working on Sunday. However, if you wish to deploy him on his new rest day, the same overtime rules would apply.

[Added on 12 August]
Can my worker leave his dormitory once I have implemented the staggered rest day?

MOM is currently monitoring the infection rates in both the community and dormitories. If the infection rate remains at lower levels for a long period of time, workers in cleared dormitories and blocks will have opportunity to leave dormitories to run personal errands at approved locations such as the Recreation Centres. Please refer to MOM’s website for the more updates of Safe Rest Days for Dormitory Residents.

[Added on 12 August]
Can my worker exit his dormitory on his rest day?

Currently, MOM allows dormitory residents to exit their dormitories for work purposes only, dormitory residents are not allowed to exit their dormitories for non-work purposes. MOM anticipates that the first phase of exits for non-work purposes will begin in mid-August.

[Added on 12 August]
Why must I implement staggered rest days if my workers are not allowed to leave their dormitories for non-work purposes now?

MOM anticipates that the first phase of exits for non-work purposes will begin in mid-August. In anticipation of that, MOM needs to implement staggered rest days for the sector. When workers are allowed to leave their dormitories for non-work purposes, staggering rest days will spread out the number of workers exiting their dormitories for non-work purposes evenly across the week. It is an important measure to help our workers enjoy their rest days safely while mitigating the risks of COVID transmissions.

[Added on 12 August]
What must my worker do if they want to exit their dormitories for non-work purposes?

Currently, workers are not allowed to leave their dormitories for non-work purposes. When they are allowed to do so, workers are required to apply for exit pass from MOM in order to leave their dormitories for leisure. Please refer to MOM’s website for more updates as MOM will share more details on the required steps when workers are allowed to leave their dormitories for leisure.


Can I change my assigned rest day?

[Added on 12 August]
Can I change my worker’s rest day?

For workers deployed to single construction sites, you should adhere to the assigned rest days. If you have legitimate reasons to change his rest day e.g. your worker is no longer deployed to a project, you may change his rest day between Monday to Friday on MOM’s Safe@Work system.

If your workers are not deployed to construction sites or deployed part-time* to multiple sites, and you have selected a rest day for them earlier, you may change their rest day between Monday to Friday on MOM’s Safe@Work system if their work schedules have changed.

Firms are strongly encouraged to spread their rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible, to avoid a crowding of workers resting on Saturday. This is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of possible disruptions. To safeguard Saturday for workers who are unable to rest on a weekday, firms would have to submit an appeal to BCA at FormSG should you wish to change your workers’ rest day to Saturday or select Saturday as a rest day. Your appeal will be granted if there are legitimate reasons i.e. workers are working for project with rest day on Saturday or if there is proof of contractual obligations requiring their services only on weekdays.

If your worker is required to rest on a new day, please inform him of his new rest day.

*For workers who work on a project site for A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME (less than 6 weeks at the project site within a 3-month window)

[Added on 12 August]
Can I make my own arrangement to swap the assigned rest day with another project or change a project rest day?

You should abide by your assigned rest day. We seek your understanding that during this period of initial implementation, we are unable to entertain requests for change of rest days.

[Added on 12 August]
How many times I can change the assigned rest day in MOM’s Safe@Work System?

The current Safe@Work system does not restrict the number of changes you can make. However, firms should only make changes for legitimate reasons.


When can I update rest day in MOM’s Safe@Work System?

[Added on 12 August]
When can I update rest day in MOM’s Safe@Work System?

Once you have received email entitled “Staggered Rest Day for Your Workers” on your assigned rest day or instruction to log into MOM’s Safe@Work system from BCA, you may update the rest day in MOM’s Safe@Work system if there are legitimate reasons.

[Added on 12 August]
My worker was working on a previous project and has an assigned rest day. He has now moved to a new project. Do I need to update it MOM's system or will it be automatically updated?

Once there is a rest day recorded in MOM's system, employers will need to update any subsequent changes.


Additional FAQs for Sub-contractors/ Specialist Sub-Contractors/ Facility Management Firms/ Lift & Escalator (L&E) firms/ Renovation firms/ others

[Added on 12 August]
I am a sub-contractor/specialist sub-contractor. My workers were submitted under the main contractor’s restart application. How will I find out about my workers’ rest days?

If your workers are submitted under the main contractor’s restart application, you will receive a notification from BCA on your assigned rest day based on the projects you have submitted under the main contractor’s restart application.

[Added on 12 August]
I am a sub-contractor. My worker has a different rest day assignment from the main contractor’s project rest day. Can I appeal to change my workers’ rest day to match with the main contractor’s?

If your main contractor’s rest day is between Monday to Friday, there is no need to submit an appeal to change the rest day for your workers. You may update the rest day for your workers according to the main contractor’s rest day on SGForm, with necessary documents to show that your workers are deployed to the mentioned project. If approved, you will be notified, and your workers’ rest day will be automatically updated in the Safe@Work system.

[Added on 12 August]
I am a specialist contractor and my workers work on multiple project sites with different rest days. Which rest day should I follow?

If your worker serves multiple project sites or deployed part-time* to multiple sites, you may select a rest day between Monday to Friday that best fits his work schedule. Please log on to MOM’s Safe@Work system to select a suitable rest day for your worker.

Firms need not select the same day for all workers. You may also change the rest days subsequently on the system for legitimate reasons e.g. you are rostering your workers differently.

Firms are strongly encouraged to spread their rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible, to avoid a crowding of workers resting on Saturday. This is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of possible disruptions. To safeguard Saturday for workers who are unable to rest on a weekday, firms would have to submit an appeal to BCA at FormSG should you wish to change your workers’ rest day to Saturday or select Saturday as a rest day. Your appeal will be granted if there are legitimate reasons i.e. workers are working for project with rest day on Saturday or if there is proof of contractual obligations requiring their services only on weekdays.

If your worker is required to rest on a new day, please inform him of his new rest day.

*For workers who work on a project site for A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME (less than 6 weeks at the project site within a 3-month window)

[Added on 12 August]
For firms with worker currently resting on both Saturday and Sunday (e.g. Facility Management, Lift & Escalator firms, or firms with workers who are still not working on daily basis), with staggered rest days, must he work on Sunday or must I replace his Sunday rest day with another day in the week?

No. If he currently rests on both Saturdays and Sundays, he may continue doing so. However, when MOM begins to allow exits from dorms for non-work purposes, he will only be allowed to leave his dorm on Saturday. Hence, on MOM’s Safe@Work system, you should select Saturday as his rest day. He may continue to rest on Sunday without leaving their dormitory.

[Added on 12 August]
I am a renovation contractor. Can I select another rest day for my worker instead of Sunday?

Yes. You may select another rest day between Monday to Friday for your worker on MOM’s Safe@Work system. However, once you have selected the new rest day, you will not be able to change the rest day back to Sunday on the system. If you are only temporarily deploying your worker on Sundays, you may wish to seek his consent for overtime arrangements instead.

Firms are strongly encouraged to spread their rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible, to avoid a crowding of workers resting on Saturday. This is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of possible disruptions. To safeguard Saturday for workers who are unable to rest on a weekday, firms would have to submit an appeal to BCA at FormSG should you wish to change your workers’ rest day to Saturday or select Saturday as a rest day. Your appeal will be granted if there are legitimate reasons i.e. workers are working for project with rest day on Saturday or if there is proof of contractual obligations requiring their services only on weekdays.

Firms are also reminded to comply strictly with the permitted time stipulated by HDB or MCST.

[Added on 12 August]
I am Facility Management (FM)/ Lift & Escalator (L&E)/ Essential services (e.g. vector controls)/ Specialist Contractors that provide services to multiple projects (not submitted for Application for Restart with the main contractor). I would like to change the rest day to Saturday, how can I do it?

To ensure all workers’ rest day are spread out evenly across the week and reduce the potential of COVID-19 virus transmission, firms are encouraged to refrain from choosing Saturday as rest day. However, if there are legitimate reasons, firms may submit an appeal to change rest day to Saturday to BCA at FormSG.

[Added on 18 August]

After 10 Aug, all firms employing foreign workers registered with MOM under the Construction Account (foreign construction workers) are allowed to resume work without applying to BCA for approval, unless workers are deployed to perform work at construction sites or supply work premises.

I am Renovation/ Facility Management/ Lift & Escalator/ other firms with workers not working at construction site projects/ supply works. I can resume work without applying to BCA for approval. Do I have to enter a rest day for my workers in MOM’s Safe@Work system?

Yes, if you hire workers subject to staggered rest days, you are required to select a rest day in MOM’s Safe@Work system for their workers.

Firms are strongly encouraged to spread their rest days evenly across the week and avoid choosing Saturdays where possible, to avoid a crowding of workers resting on Saturday. This is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission and impact of possible disruptions. To safeguard Saturday for workers who are unable to rest on a weekday, firms would have to submit an appeal to BCA at FormSG should you wish to change your workers’ rest day to Saturday or select Saturday as a rest day. Your appeal will be granted if there are legitimate reasons i.e. workers are working for project with rest day on Saturday or if there is proof of contractual obligations requiring their services only on weekdays.

Renovation firms are allowed to select Sunday as the rest day for their workers.  If you have workers for whom you have not submitted an application for restart, but who are now approved to work arising from BCA’s circular on 10 Aug (please insert link), please submit an appeal to BCA at FormSG to confirm that you wish to select Sunday as their rest day.

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