Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on MOE instructors: Restructuring of contracts to provide initial payments ahead of work done
As part of MOE's precautionary measures for COVID-19, co-curricular activities (CCA) and activities that involve mingling of students across schools have been suspended since Term 2. The prolonged suspension of these activities has affected the income of instructors who are paid based on services delivered.
To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and the National Circuit Breaker on jobs and businesses, the Government has, through the Unity, Resilience and Solidarity budgets, provided assistance via the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) and the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS). Instructors who meet the eligibility criteria can benefit from these schemes.
MOE and NTUC NICA have been discussing ways to further help MOE instructors. Arising from these discussions, MOE will be providing instructors the option to restructure thier contracts. There are 2 aspects to the option:
- Extend existing contracts by up to a year, but no later than December 2021.
- Receive initial payments, paid ahead of actual work done from now to end 2021.
This will provide some income for instructors in 2020 even if fewer hours are delivered, with the expectation that the hours of work would be fulfiled subsequently in 2021. With this change, MOE will also encourage schools to consider alternative ways to engage instructors in 2020.
Enhanced contracting modes
In support of the Tripartite Standards to adopt fair and progressive government procurement practices, MOE has enhanced the contracting modes with feedback from coaches and instructors, schools and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in 2017.
The enhanced contracting modes of Pay-As-You-Use with hourly payment and Annual Baseload with monthly payment are mainly used for CCA instructor contracts. National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), MOF and selected representatives of the coaches and instructors were briefed by MOE in November 2017. Schools have also been updated. The contracting modes and corresponding instructions were effective for quotations and tenders called from 1 January 2018 onwards.
To provide greater clarity on the various instructor contracting modes, NTUC Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit (FSEU) has shared a set of slides with self-employed coaches and instructors during National Instructors and Coaches Association's (NICA) engagement session on 19 November 2019, to affirm the contractual obligations by all parties in the contracts.
Contracts affected by COVID-19
To protect our students and staff againts the spread of the COVID-19, MOE has suspended large group and communal activities such as camps and inter-school activities to minimise mingling and mitigate potential risks when students gather in large numbers. External school activities, such as CCAs that are conducted at external or public venues with little control over exposure to crowds, have also been suspended.
The suspension may impact contracts with vendors for CCA and enrichment programmes. For affected contracts, schools will work with the vendors to reschedule the activities where possible. Schools will pay for costs already incurred by vendors arising from the rescheduling. If rescheduling is not possible and the contracts are terminated, schools will abide by the cancellation terms of the contract. Where such cancellation terms are absent, schools will still pay for costs already incurred by vendors.
If you have any questions about contracts affected by COVID-19, you can contact us.
Guidelines for eCCA
To gradually bring back essential elements of students’ development experiences and to mitigate the impact on contracts of coaches and instructors due to COVID-19, provisions have been made to the contracts and schools have the option to engage coaches and instructors in the delivery of CCA through alternative modes (i.e. eCCA).
Coaches and instructors can refer to the following link for information on broad guidelines and learning areas for eCCA. Coaches and Instructors who wish to upskill their competencies in the digital delivery can also refer to the list of relevant professional development opportunities and grants included.
- Guidelines-for-eCCA (164kb)
Reference Guides for Visual & Performing Arts CCA
The Visual and Performing Arts Co-Curricular Activities (VPA CCA) Reference Guides, customised for various types of VPA CCA groups, guide instructors and teachers-in-charge in planning and implementing meaningful and engaging learning experiences for the students.
(Note: Reference Guides (Secondary Level) will be updated by 31 January 2021 in alignment to implementation of Character and Citizenship Education 2021 for Secondary Schools. Reference Guides (Primary Level) are in development and will be uploaded in 2021.)