DBS to roll out voluntary job-sharing scheme

DBS Bank employees will be able to opt for job sharing as part of the lender’s initiatives aimed at transforming the way its staff work in a post-pandemic world.

Two employees will share the responsibilities of one full-time role under the scheme, which builds on the bank’s ability to operate successfully in split teams over the past few months, said South-east Asia’s largest bank yesterday.

Staff under the scheme will retain all existing medical benefits in full and continue to be covered under the bank’s insurance plans.

At the same time, the bank will introduce more part-time work arrangements.

The Straits Times understands that the job-sharing scheme is on a voluntary basis and is not a result of cost-cutting measures.

Job sharing is a flexible work arrangement where two or more people share the responsibilities of one full-time job, according to an implementation guide about the scheme by the Ministry of Manpower and the Singapore National Employers Federation.

The job may be divided by function, geography, time or workload, and the arrangement requires a proper handover of duties.

Job sharing differs from part-time jobs, which are self-contained jobs with fewer than 35 hours of work per week.

Only 1.3 per cent of companies in Singapore offered job-sharing opportunities as at June last year.

The salaries of employees under the job-sharing schemes are adjusted based on their new work arrangements.

Singapore Human Resources Institute president Low Peck Kem said job sharing is not very common here as it requires firms to manage more employees and not many have reaped cost savings as a result of it.


Number of DBS employees in Singapore who will be upskilled or reskilled in emerging areas such as design thinking and artificial intelligence.

However, she added, it can help firms retain talent and enhance productivity, if used properly.

“The benefit for employees is 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.

Besides the scheme, DBS will give all employees the flexibility to work remotely up to 40 per cent of their time at work. The bank will also create more “project-specific, data-driven squads” – compared with the usual functional departments – which will be formed with members from various functions and areas of expertise.

DBS has a 12,000-strong workforce in Singapore.

More than 7,200 employees across the bank – 4,300 of whom are in Singapore – will also be upskilled or reskilled in emerging areas such as design thinking and artificial intelligence.

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DBS chief Piyush Gupta 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 which include (these initiatives).”

Likewise, United Overseas Bank said last Friday that the majority of its staff will be able to choose to work remotely two days a week once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

In a six-month review of work arrangements and tools, the bank found that about 65 per cent of its roles are suited to remote working.

UOB head of group human resources Dean Tong said: “We believe that the future of the workplace is a hybrid one where employees choose how to manage their work commitments based on the space and place they can be most effective.”

Meanwhile, OCBC Bank head of group human resources Jason Ho said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been agile in the way we introduced new initiatives, practices and measures to adapt and transform the way we work.”

He added that the bank will continue to do so as the situation progresses, taking into account factors such as employees’ preferences and well-being.

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