HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Working from home country


Dear HR Community

Since COVID-19, half of our business support staff work from their homes in Singapore and standby to return to the office if required.

However, we have a Malaysian employee who has requested to work from home (WFH), from her home country.

Do we, as the employer have the right to reject such requests?

Are we violating any laws if we do not allow WFH from home country?

We are a manufacturing company.

Thank you.




HR Poll: Do we, as the employer have the right to reject such requests?

Yes: 52.38%

No: 11.90%

Maybe: 19.05%

Not sure: 16.67%


HR Poll: Are we violating any laws if we do not allow WFH from home country?

Yes: 26.92%

No: 57.69%

Maybe: 3.85%

Not sure: 11.54%





Inform her she is currently on standby working from home and you may need her to report back to the office on short notice. If she wants to return to her home country and work, she may be subjected to SHN regulations when she eventually needs to return to Singapore's office which will affect your business operations - TL

She is employed in a company based in Singapore so she should be working in Singapore whether onsite or at her Singapore home. The employer may still allow her to go back for a short period and return to SG. This is with a combination of working from home and personal leave. But need to withhold her salary in case she is not returning to Singapore - AT

I believe your employment contract indicated the work location is in Singapore. The company has the right to reject employees' requests for WFH in the home country. If employees work overseas for long, there will be tax and work pass implication after a certain period - Ivy

Since the rule is maxing half of the time over a reasonable period which is defined as 4 weeks, then perhaps staff shall be allowed home for 2 weeks and the other 2 to be based in office? - Z

My opinion is yes you can reject as you are on standby. If they return, PCA is for 3 months and they cannot return - RC

I'm in the construction industry, I have a backend employee who also works from home in Malaysia, she can perform what is expected of her, we have no problem with that. My husband works in an MNC, he has colleagues working from all over the world on a WFH basis, they operate perfectly well. If your worker needs to be physically present for the work to be performed, then WFH policy can not apply (example: electricians changing a light bulb, cooks working in a restaurant, etc). If the worker can complete the required task without being physically present, then it doesn't matter where his/her home is - KC

Yes, the employer has the right if his work scope can't work remote. Otherwise, staff need to submit leave application if he can't return office if he insists WFH at home country. - Jenny

Dear Annie, You are certainly violating the laws, if you are not allowing that one person to WFH in her home country if you are allowing other people to do it being Singaporeans. She has similar rights under this situation, especially if she is not required to come to the office. - Imran

As long as the employee is overseas I think you are not violating the law and can reject the request. The law will apply when in Singapore. - MK

I know there are tax implications for continuity work outside of payroll location and, the individual may need to pay taxes for both countries and also, the work pass status of the individual. - Michelle


HRSINGAPORE | HR Community Message | Working from home country


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