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FAQs on COVID-19

Read the FAQs to get more info about COVID-19, such as general guidelines, precautionary measures, flexible work arrangements, quarantine matters, work pass matters, LOA/SHN and LOA/SHN Support Programme.

Updated as of 20 February 2020

Guidelines for employees who are travelling

MOH has advised travellers to defer all travel to Hubei province and to defer non-essential travel to mainland China until further notice.

All work pass holders (including in-principle approval, dependent’s pass (DP) or Long Term Visit Pass), regardless of nationality, with travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei) within the last 14 days and planning to enter / return to Singapore after 8 February 2020, 2359 hrs, are required to seek approval before they commence their journey.

Affected employees that arrive after 31 January 2020, but before 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs, will be placed on a 14-day Leave of Absence (LOA) upon arrival in Singapore. Employees who arrive after 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs, will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period, under the Stay-Home Notice (SHN) measure.

Employers should evaluate the risks and make a considered decision on whether to proceed with work-related travel plans to known affected countries, including considering alternatives, such as video conferencing or postponing the trip. Employers should also refer to the MOH guidelines on MOH’s website on the measures that travellers should adopt when overseas.

For employees whose work is performed in known affected countries, employers should ensure that employees are adequately protected or monitored in accordance to MOH's guidelines.

In the event that the employee rejects the work trip to places which have travel advisories issued against them due to public health concerns, employers should not penalise employees who reject the work trip due to safety and health concerns.

For countries which have no travel advisories issued against them yet, but have suspected cases, employers are urged to exercise flexibility by acceding to employees’ request to not go to these countries where possible, and to consider alternatives such as video conferencing.

Precautionary measures

What additional precautionary measures can employers take at the workplace to safeguard the workplace from COVID-19?Show

Employers could consider the following additional measures:

  • Increase frequency of cleaning of areas with high human contact, e.g. countertops used in serving customers, common spaces used for meetings, toilets, lifts, refuse bins and handrails;
  • Provide additional guidance on handling customers who are unwell, e.g. frontline staff can encourage customers who are unwell to see a doctor and to return another day, or advise the customer to put on a mask;
  • Obtain travel declaration from employees on travel history / upcoming plans to mainland China;
  • Encourage employees to take temperature regularly and monitor for respiratory symptoms; and
  • Encourage employees to observe good personal hygiene by reminding them to wash their hands regularly, cover mouth if coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their faces.

What advice can employers give to employees who are traveling to mainland China (outside Hubei) during this period in light of the virus?Show

Returning residents (Singapore and PRs) and returning long-term pass holders (including work passes, Dependent’s Pass and Long Term Visit Pass) who travelled to mainland China and arrived in Singapore on or after 31 January 2020, 6pm, but before 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs, would be placed on Leave of Absence (LOA). Employees returning from mainland China after 18 February 2359 hrs, will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period, under the Stay-Home Notice (SHN) measure. Employers should inform employees of these requirements.

In the event that travel to mainland China is unavoidable, employers should advise employees to practise the following when travelling:

  • Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and undercooked meats;
  • Avoid crowded places and close contact with people who are unwell or showing respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath);
  • Observe good personal hygiene at all times;
  • Practise frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to the toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretion after coughing or sneezing);
  • Cover mouth with tissue paper when coughing or sneezing at the workplace, and dispose soiled tissue paper in the designated rubbish bins at the workplace immediately;
  • Wear a mask if employees have respiratory symptoms; and
  • Seek medical attention promptly if you are unwell.

What can employers do to safeguard other employees who may have been in contact with an employee who has been in mainland China (outside Hubei)?Show

Returning residents (Singapore and Permanent Residents) and returning long-term pass holders (including work passes, Dependent’s Pass, and Long Term Visit Pass) who travelled to mainland China and arrived in Singapore on or after 31 Jan 2020, 6pm, but before 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs, would be placed on Leave of Absence (LOA). Employees returning from mainland China after 18 February 2359 hrs, will be required to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period, under the Stay-Home Notice (SHN) measure. Employers should inform employees of these requirements.

To safeguard other employees, employers must ensure that the employee placed on LOA stays away from the workplace, and also advise employees to minimise contact with that employee during the period of LOA. Under the SHN, employees will have to remain in their place of residence at all times during the 14-day period. This is stricter than the existing LOA regime, which had allowed returnees to leave their homes briefly, for example for their meals or to buy household supplies. Employers should advise employees on SHN to monitor their health closely, i.e. twice daily for fever (i.e. ≥ 38°C) and respiratory symptoms such as cough and breathlessness. They should minimise contact with others and should not invite visitors (e.g. other employees) to their residence. Employees should also be advised to maintain a record of persons they came into close contact with during the period of SHN.

For employees who have been in contact with the employee, employers should monitor their health and inform employees to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell. Employers can also advise the rest of employees to practice good personal hygiene habits.

Can employers defer periodic medical examinations for employees exposed to the prescribed hazards required under the Workplace Safety and Health (Medical Examinations) Regulations to a later date in view of COVID-19? Is it possible to request for an extension of the submission deadline?Show

Yes, the employer may write in to MOM at mom_oshd@mom.gov.sg to request for an extension of the deadline for submission of the Summary Report and Register of Employees. Please include the workplace number and the name of the hazard in your request.

Eligible claims and medical benefits

Does Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) cover diseases due to COVID-19? Would it apply if employees fall sick on a work trip to mainland China?Show

WICA covers employees who contract diseases from biological agents, including COVID-19, arising from and in the course of work.

However, WICA will not cover diseases due to COVID-19 if it was contracted through non-work activities or exposure.

Flexible work arrangements (FWAs)

Can employees work remotely in view of the virus?Show

As part of employers’ Business Continuity Plans (BCPs), employees can be encouraged to work from home where feasible. Employers can also consider split teams where some employees would work from the office while others work from home to minimise interaction. Employers may wish to procure the necessary equipment and review their work process to facilitate employees to utilise flexible work arrangements.

If the employee has to be absent from work due to non-work related reasons to the COVID-19 situation (e.g. caregiving needs for family members or for children should schools or childcare facilities close), employers are encouraged to adopt flexible work arrangements to allow the employee to work from home and minimise work disruptions.

Should employers allow FWAs for employees placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) / Stay Home Notice (SHN)?Show

Employers could consider allowing employees on LOA/SHN to work from home.

During the LOA/SHN period, employers must ensure that employees stay away from the workplace. To minimise any short term work disruption that may arise due to employees being placed on LOA/SHN, employers could consider adopting flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and teleconferencing, to allow the employees to work from home.

If remote working is not possible, employers may consider these options.

Quarantine matters

For more FAQs on Leave of Absence and quarantine matters, please refer to MOH’s website.

Do employers need to provide suitable quarantine facilities for foreign workers? What should the employer do if dormitories do not have enough capacity to house a quarantined foreign worker?Show

Foreign workers who are issued with QOs may be quarantined at home or within their dormitory. They will first have their existing housing assessed by the Quarantine Order Agent for home quarantine, for whether the housing is suitable for quarantine.

If their housing is assessed to be unsuitable, foreign workers will then be sent to a suitable quarantine facility, which is centrally managed by the Government.

There is no need or employers to provide suitable quarantine facilities for foreign workers.

Are quarantined foreign workers allowed to leave quarantine facilities?Show

No. People under quarantine must not leave their designated location for any reason. Should they require assistance for daily needs beyond what is provided for under the home quarantine package, they should arrange with their relatives / friends to purchase groceries and assist in their daily needs whenever necessary. If they urgently need to leave the place of quarantine for matters needing personal attention which cannot be postponed, they must first seek the permission of the Quarantine Order Agent.

It is an offence if people under quarantine do not comply with the conditions listed in accordance to the Quarantine Order.

Are foreign workers entitled to the $100 Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA)?Show

Claims of $100 per day can only be made by two groups:

  1. Self-employed Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents
  2. Employers, who have employees issued with QOs

For employers, they must have a registered company in Singapore, and employees must be Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents or work pass holders.

How will the $100 Quarantine Order Allowance be issued? Does the claim cover non-working days and rest days?Show

At the end of the quarantine, employers should submit the claim form along with proof of payment of CPF to employees issued with Quarantine Order, and the company will be paid the ex gratia.

SEPs should submit the claim form along with proof of self-employment.

The claim covers non-working days and rest days.

Employees may have family members / housemates who are quarantined. What should employers do to safeguard the other employees who may have been in contact with that employee?Show

If the employee has family members / housemates who are confirmed cases, he/she will be quarantined as well if assessed to be a close contact.

If quarantined family members / housemates are not confirmed cases, there is no public health action required of the employer.

However, if any employee has fever and respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath), the employer should advise him/her to wear a mask and seek medical attention promptly. Call the clinic ahead and inform the doctor of symptoms as well as travel history, if any.

If the employee is quarantined, will his/her absence be treated as paid hospitalisation leave?Show

Home Quarantine Orders (HQOs) are served on persons by MOH, the period of absence from work necessitated by HQOs should be treated as paid hospitalisation leave, as part of the employee’s hospitalisation leave eligibility under their employment contracts, collective agreements, or under the Employment Act.

For employees who have used up their paid hospitalisation leave, employers are urged to exercise compassion and flexibility by granting additional paid hospitalisation leave, as the employees concerned may face hardship during this time.

Leave of Absence (LOA) and Stay-Home Notice (SHN) matters

For more FAQs on Leave of Absence and quarantine matters, please refer to MOH’s website.

Are employees being quarantined at home if they have been placed on LOA/SHN by employers?Show

Employees are not being quarantined if they have been placed on LOA/SHN. There is a difference between LOA, SHN and a Quarantine Order (QO).

Quarantine Order (QO)

A QO is a directive issued to individuals under the Infectious Diseases Act, to quarantine or isolate individuals who are, or suspected to be, carriers or contacts of an infectious disease. It has the aim of limiting spread of virus in the community. QO has legal force with severe penalties for non-compliance, and is far more stringent than LOA.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

LOA is a precautionary measure. Persons placed on LOA are urged to be socially responsible and comply, to prevent possible transmissions of infections. Employees on LOA should remain in their residences as much as possible, minimise visitors and maintain good records of persons with whom they come into close contact. Employees on LOA may leave their residences for daily necessities or to attend important matters, but they must minimise time spent in public spaces and contact with others. Employees should also monitor their health (i.e. for fever ≥ 38 °C and respiratory symptoms such as cough or breathlessness) closely during the LOA period, seek prompt medical attention when necessary and observe good personal hygiene.

Employers are reminded that all returning employees with recent travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei) within the last 14 days, and arrived in Singapore on or after 31 Jan 2020 6pm, but before 18 Feb 2020 2359 hrs, will be placed on LOA.

Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA period. MOM will not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work pass privileges against errant employers or employees.

Stay-Home Notice (SHN)

With effect from 2359 hrs on 18 Feb 2020, returning employees from mainland China (outside Hubei) will be issued a mandatory 14-day Stay Home Notice (SHN) from the day of their return. Under the SHN, returnees will have to remain in their place of residence at all times during the 14-day period. This is stricter than the existing LOA regime, which had allowed returnees to leave their homes briefly, for example, to buy their meals or household and other supplies.

Those placed on SHN should monitor their health closely, i.e. twice daily for fever (i.e. ≥ 38°C) and respiratory symptoms such as cough and breathlessness. They should minimise contact with others and avoid having visitors (e.g. other employees) to their residence. Employees under SHN should maintain a record of persons they come into close contact with during this period.

Singapore Citizens, PRs and Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holders who require special assistance (e.g. for medical attention, food and daily necessities) during the SHN period will be assisted by the People’s Association. Work pass holders should seek assistance from their employers.

Employees who flout the SHN may face penalties and can be prosecuted under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act. Foreign workers may have their work passes revoked and be repatriated. Employers too may have their work pass privileges withdrawn. PRs, LTVP and DP holders may have their Re-Entry Permit, Long-Term Visit Pass or Dependant’s Pass revoked or the validity shortened.

The SHN will be implemented after 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs. What if the employee is already serving his/her LOA? What is the difference between LOA and SHN?Show

With the introduction of the SHN, the Government will no longer be issuing any more new LOAs. Employees on LOA at the point of the implementation of the SHN will continue serving out their LOA.

Under the SHN, returnees will have to remain in their place of residence at all times during the 14-day period. This is stricter than the existing LOA regime, which had allowed returnees to leave their homes briefly, for example, to buy their meals or household and other supplies.

Those placed on SHN should monitor their health closely, i.e. twice daily for fever (i.e. ≥ 38°C) and respiratory symptoms such as cough and breathlessness. They should minimise contact with others and avoid havingvisitors (e.g. other employees) to their residence. Employees under SHN should maintain a record of persons they come into close contact with during this period.

Employees who require medical attention while on SHN:

  • For life threatening cases such as cardiac arrest, active seizures, breathlessness, major traumas and stroke, please call 995 directly for assistance.
  • For non-emergencies (such as cough or fever, follow-up visits for chronic conditions, refilling of prescription, etc):
    • Singapore Citizens, PRs and long-term pass holders may contact the People’s Association (PA) at 6344 8222. PA will assist in making necessary arrangements with the nearest Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) or GP clinic. Employees should inform the staff and doctor of travel history and the SHN status; and
    • Foreign employees issued with a work pass should contact their employers.

When do employers start counting the first day for employees who need to go on LOA/SHN?Show

Employers can start counting from the day of employees’ return to Singapore from mainland China. The day of arrival in Singapore will be counted as Day 0, regardless of the time of arrival.

What should employees do if they are placed on LOA/SHN? Can they run errands since LOA/SHN is not a quarantine order?Show

Leave of Absence (LOA)

During the LOA period, employees may leave the place of residence to purchase daily necessities or to attend to important personal matters, but they should return to the place of residence as quickly as possible. Employers must also ensure that employees stay away from the workplace.

Employers should advise employees to stay at home and avoid social contact. Employees should avoid crowded places and refrain from attending social or public gatherings. They should monitor their health closely, and seek medical attention immediately if they develop any fever or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat).

Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA period, and not return to work. MOM will not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work pass privileges against errant employers or employees.

Stay-Home Notice (SHN)

Under the SHN, returnees will have to remain in their place of residence at all times during the 14-day period. This is stricter than the existing LOA regime, which had allowed returnees to leave their homes briefly, for example for their meals or to buy household supplies.

Those placed on SHN should monitor their health closely, i.e. twice daily for fever (i.e. ≥ 38°C) and respiratory symptoms such as cough and breathlessness. They should minimise contact with others and avoid having visitors (e.g. other employees) to their residence. Employees under SHN should maintain a record of persons they come into close contact with during this period.

Work pass holders on SHN can make their own arrangements to procure daily necessities, such as meals and daily essentials. This could include requesting their house or dormitory mates to help procure these for them or ordering home delivery services. Employers will be responsible for ensuring the well-being of their work pass holders on SHN and will be expected to render any support they require. Work pass holders who face difficulties and contact MOM for assistance.

For employers who need to deliver meals and daily essentials to work pass holders on SHN, are they required to wear masks or other protective equipment for self-protection?Show

There is no need for masks or other protective equipment. The delivery can be conducted in such a way as to minimise contact with the person under SHN. The SHN is a precautionary measure and persons under SHN are not close contacts of confirmed cases.

Can employers ask employees to use their annual leave for the LOA/SHN period?Show

Employers may adopt flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and teleconferencing, to allow employees on LOA/SHN to work from home.

If remote working is not possible, employers are encouraged to provide additional paid leave on top of employees’ annual leave entitlements for the LOA/SHN, especially if the travel was work-related. If that is not feasible, employers can consider the following options, or a combination of the options, for the employees on LOA/SHN:

  1. Treat employees’ LOA/SHN as paid hospitalisation leave or paid outpatient sick leave;
  2. Allow employees to apply for annual leave;
  3. Allow employees to use advanced paid leave or apply for no pay leave, for employees who have used up their leave entitlements; or
  4. Other mutually agreed arrangements between the employers and employees / unions.

Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA period. MOM reserves the right to take action against the employer or employee, if they fail to discharge their duty.

Should employers send employees to the doctor to get tested at the end of the 14-day LOA/SHN period so that they can be cleared to come back to work?Show

Individuals who have ended the 14-day LOA/SHN period without developing any symptoms will not be offered diagnostic testing if they visit the doctor / hospital to ask for one. Hence, employers need not send employees to get tested at the end of the 14-day LOA/SHN period if they do not display any symptoms.

Employees may have family members / housemates who are placed on LOA/SHN. What should employers do to safeguard the other employees who may have been in contact with that employee? Should that employee also be granted LOA/SHN?Show

The employee may continue living with family members / housemates placed on LOA/SHN. There is no need for the employee to be placed on LOA/SHN. However, the employer can advise the employee to reduce interaction and minimise contact with persons placed on LOA/SHN. For example, close and sustained contact can be avoided by not sharing a bed, limiting the time spent together at common areas within the apartment, having separate meal times, and ensuring proper ventilation, etc.

However, if the employee has fever and respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath), avoid contact with family members and seek medical attention immediately.

Can foreign workers be asked to work while serving their LOA/SHN? What should dormitory operators do if they found that workers returned to work despite the LOA/SHN?Show

Foreign workers on LOA/SHN are not supposed to be return to work. If employers insist, foreign workers should report the matter to us at mom_qops@mom.gov.sg.

Dormitory operators should advise foreign workers that they are not supposed to return to work while serving the 14 days’ LOA/SHN. Dormitory operators can also remind the foreign worker’s employer and should alert MOM at mom_qops@mom.gov.sg.

Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that employees behave responsibly during the LOA/SHN period, and not return to work. MOM will not hesitate to revoke the work passes and withdraw work pass privileges against errant employers or employees.

Employees who flout the SHN may face penalties and can be prosecuted under Section 21A of the Infectious Diseases Act. Foreign workers may have their work passes revoked and be repatriated. Employers too may have their work pass privileges withdrawn. PRs, LTVP and DP holders may have their Re-Entry Permit, Long-Term Visit Pass or Dependant’s Pass revoked or the validity shortened.

Is there a need for employers of foreign workers and/or dormitory operators to segregate foreign workers placed on LOA/SHN? Can dormitory operators / landlords evict or refuse entry to workers who have returned from mainland China (outside Hubei) and are placed on LOA/SHN?Show

With the raising of DORSCON level to Orange, dormitory operators/landlords should make arrangements for residents on LOA/SHN to reside together with others on LOA/SHN, in a section of the dormitory that is separate from other residents. In the event that this is not possible, there should be dedicated rooms for them. These should not be the rooms set up for quarantine purposes.

For residents on LOA, dorm operators should also stagger the usage of common dormitory facilities where possible, to further minimise cross-interactions between residents. For residents on SHN, they should not leave the room except to use the toilet and shower facilities or to seek medical attention.

Dormitory operators, landlords, and other relevant management of facilities should not evict workers under LOA from their residence.

The relevant authorities will take actions against irresponsible operators and landlords.

For more information, dorm operators may refer to the MOH guidelines:

What should foreign workers placed on LOA/SHN do if they are evicted by dormitory operators / landlords?Show

Please report the matter to MOM at mom_qops@mom.gov.sg or call 1800 333 9999.

What should employers of foreign workers and/or dormitory operators do if the foreign worker under LOA is unwell?Show

If the worker is unwell, isolate him/her immediately in a room or area away from others where possible and advise the worker to seek medical attention immediately. Please provide the worker with a surgical mask, if possible, and ensure that he/she avoids taking public transport.

Employers / dorm operators should take down the names and contact details (address, telephone number) of all persons who have come into close contact with the worker when he/she had fever, cough or breathlessness, or was feeling unwell. If the worker is confirmed to have COVID-19, MOH officers will contact the dorm operator / management to trace all those who came into contact with the worker.

If employers choose to segregate their Foreign Workers on LOA/SHN, are they required to update Online Foreign Worker’s Address System (OFWAS)?Show

MOH has advised that it is not necessary to segregate or relocate persons placed under LOA/SHN. However, if employers choose to do so voluntarily, they may update Online Foreign Worker’s Address System (OFWAS) with the affected work permit’s holders new address, (it can include commercial premises such as hotels or serviced apartments), or the Employment Pass Online (EPOL) for EP / S Pass holders.

Employers must update OFWAS / EPOL should there be further changes to the addresses.

If employers encounter technical difficulty in doing so, do contact 6692 4599 or email to mom_fwas@mom.gov.sg for assistance.

If a foreign worker is under Quarantine Order (QO), there is no need to update OFWAS.

If employers choose to segregate foreign workers, are they required to pay for alternative accommodation?Show

Yes, employers are required to pay for the alternative accommodation.

Leave of Absence Support Programme (LOASP)

What assistance is the government providing to those affected by Leave of Absence (LOA) / Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?Show

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will provide support to help businesses and self-employed persons who are affected by the LOA/SHN requirements due to COVID-19.

Under the Leave of Absence Support Programme (LOASP), eligible employers can apply for $100 daily per affected worker for the required duration of paid LOA/SHN granted to the employee. Affected workers include Singapore Citizens (SC), Permanent Residents (PR), and Work Pass holders who travelled to mainland China (outside Hubei) on or before 31 January 2020, and who were placed on LOA/SHN upon their return to Singapore on or after 31 January 2020. Eligible employers will also qualify for levy waiver for affected foreign workers for the LOA/SHN period.

Self-employed SCs and PRs who had travelled to mainland China (outside Hubei) on or before 31 January 2020, and placed themselves on LOA/SHN upon their return to Singapore on or after 31 January 2020, can also apply for the daily support of $100.

Who is eligible for the LOA/SHN Support Programme?Show

Employers who wish to apply for the $100 daily support for their affected workers must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Employer must be registered in Singapore.
  • Employees must be Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, or Work Pass holders.
  • Employer must have granted additional paid leave to the affected worker for the entire duration of LOA/SHN period, without requiring the worker to use his/her original paid leave entitlements provided under the terms of employment, or treating the duration of LOA/SHN as hospitalisation leave.
  • Employees must have complied fully with LOA/SHN requirements.
  • Employer must have obtained MOM’s prior approval, for workers on work pass returning to Singapore after 2359 hours on 8 February 2020.
  • Employees should not have been able to perform work remotely.
  • Employees must have been in employment as at 31 January 2020 and for full duration of LOA/SHN.

Will an employer receive LOA/SHN financial support and levy waiver for employees on telecommuting arrangement?Show

The LOASP provides support to help businesses and self-employed persons whose operations and livelihoods may have been disrupted by the LOA/SHN requirements. Employers and self-employed persons should not apply for support if telecommuting arrangements are available for work to be performed remotely by affected persons.

How can I prove that I or my employees are unable to work from home or telecommute? How will MOM monitor and enforce this requirement?Show

Employers and self-employed persons should not apply for support if telecommuting arrangements are available. While there is no requirement to submit proof in your application that you or your employees are unable to telecommute, MOM may investigate applicants for compliance with the eligibility criteria for the LOASP and take action accordingly.

My worker was on LOA/SHN initially but was later placed on Quarantine Order. Can I apply for LOASP for my worker?Show

You are eligible for support under the LOASP for the period that the worker was on LOA or SHN, and for MOH’s Quarantine Order Allowance Scheme (QOAS) for the period that the worker was on quarantine order.

Yes.

How can employers apply for the LOASP?Show

Employers and self-employed persons who wish to apply for support under LOASP should submit their applications at www.mom.gov.sg/loasp. Applications should only be submitted after the affected person has completed serving his/her LOA/SHN.

What documents do I need to submit for LOASP application for my employees or if I’m self-employed?Show

For employers, please submit:

  • Proof of employment for affected workers
    • CPF Form 90 for December 2019 and January 2020 (only for locals); and
    • Itemised pay slip(s) for salary payment during LOA/SHN period.
  • Proof of affected workers’ travel to mainland China (Outside Hubei)
    • For workers not from PRC, scan of passport photo ID page, and entry and departure stamps from mainland China.
    • For workers from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), air tickets and/or boarding passes for travel between Singapore and mainland China (including transit stops).

For self-employed persons, please submit:

  • Proof of self-employed status:
    • Income tax returns or Notice of Assessment for Year of Assessment 2020
  • Proof of travel to mainland China (Outside Hubei)
    • For applicants not from PRC, scan of passport photo ID page, and entry and departure stamps from mainland China
    • For applicants from PRC, air tickets and/or boarding passes for travel between Singapore and mainland China (including transit stops)

Upon submission of the LOASP application, how long does it take to process the application? Does the LOASP application cover the levy waiver?Show

The LOASP application covers both the daily $100 pay out as well as levy waiver (in the case of foreign workers) for the period of the LOA/SHN. The total processing time will be around 4-6 weeks.

How will employers be notified of the outcome of the application?Show

Employers will receive an outcome via the email address provided during the application.

How do we calculate the LOA/SHN commencement date?Show

An individual’s LOA/SHN period will start on the first day after the individual’s return to Singapore. For example, if an individual returned to Singapore on 3 February 2020, their LOA/SHN period would commence on 4 February 2020.

Does LOA/SHN payment include payment on weekend, if the weekend is a non-working day?Show

Yes. The LOASP is provided for the duration of the LOA/SHN, including non-working days (e.g weekends, public holidays).

My employee left the company before the 14-day LOA/SHN period ended. Will I be able to apply for the LOASP for the days consumed prior to the last day of service? I have paid the employee until last day of service.Show

No, the employee must have been employed with your company for the full duration of the LOA/SHN.

I have employees who are both full-time and part-time, does the LOASP applies to both full-time and part-time employees? For part-time employees, is there any minimum working hours or minimum salary required to qualify for the claim?Show

Both full-time and part-time employees are eligible, provided there is proof of employment and travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei). There is no minimum working hours or salary to qualify.

What is the cut-off date I need to submit the LOASP application?Show

Applications should be submitted within 90 days from the last day of the LOA/SHN.

Is there cap on the LOA/SHN support?Show

Each eligible application is up to $1,400 ($100 per day for the 14 days of LOA/SHN).

Can I apply for LOA/SHN allowance for my employees who are on LOA/SHN due to local transmission?Show

No. The LOASP is only for employees who have travelled to mainland China (outside Hubei) during the defined period.

I am employee on LOA/SHN, can I submit the application myself directly without going through employer?Show

No. The LOASP provides support for employers that provided their employees on LOA/SHN with additional paid leave for the duration of the LOA/SHN period. Hence, your employer should submit the LOASP application.

My employee(s) had to travel to mainland China (outside Hubei) for business / personal reasons after 31 January 2020. Are we eligible for the LOASP?Show

The LOASP is intended to help employers and self-employed persons who were affected by the introduction of travel conditions announced at short notice on 31 January 2020. Individuals travelling to China after 31 January 2020 will not be eligible for the LOA/SHN support.

Work pass matters

Can employers still bring in their foreign employees with travel history to mainland China (outside Hubei) within the last 14 days to Singapore?Show

If your foreign employees have travelled to mainland China (outside Hubei) within the last 14 days and are arriving in Singapore from 18 February 2020, 2359 hrs, you must do the following:

  • Ensure you can fulfil the additional obligations to bring your foreign employees in. If your foreign employees have dependants who are not issued any work passes, including Letter of Consent, the employees must also fulfil their obligations towards their dependants.
  • Request for MOM’s approval
    For new or existing Who needs to request for approval Who is responsible to ensure LOA/SHN is observed
    Work pass holders, including those with LOC Employer Employer and work pass holder
    DP or LTVP holders who are not employed
    i.e. not issued a work pass, including LOC
    Local sponsor
    i.e employer of EP or S Pass holder
    EP / S Pass holder and DP / LTVP holder

When should employers submit their requests?Show

Applications open daily from 12:01pm and close at 12pm the next day.

Requests received during this period are for arrivals within 7 days after the application closes (e.g. for arrivals in Singapore from 20 to 26 Feb 2020, you can submit the request from 18 Feb 2020, 12:01pm to 19 Feb 2020, 12pm).

Example:

Date of arrival in Singapore Submit your request
From To From 12:01pm on To 12pm on
15 Feb 21 Feb 13 Feb 14 Feb
16 Feb 22 Feb 14 Feb 15 Feb
17 Feb 23 Feb 15 Feb 16 Feb

What are the approval criteria?Show

Employers will need to ensure that they have secured appropriate housing for the workers such that they will be able to serve the mandatory 14-day Leave of Absence (LOA) / Stay-Home Notice (SHN). Applications will be processed on a first come first served basis.

Can employers submit multiple requests on the same day for an employee?Show

Employers should not submit multiple requests for an employee within the same application window (from 12:01pm today to 12pm tomorrow) using same or different arrival dates. We will only process the first request and notify you on the outcome for it, and disregard the rest.

How will employers be notified of the outcome of the application?Show

Employers will receive the outcome via email on the same day if applications are submitted before 12pm, and on the next day if application is made after 12pm.

The email approval must be sent to the pass holder. He/She must show a print-out of this approval to the airline staff upon check-in before boarding the plane and at the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore.

Is there a need to submit a new application for approval if the employee's flight is delayed or changed?Show

MOM’s approval already included flexibility to deal with possible flight delays, which are stated in the email. However, you will need to make a new application if the arrival date falls outside the dates given in the approval.

Can employers get a levy waiver if their Work Permit or S Pass holders get quarantined?Show

Employers can get a levy waiver for Work Permit or S Pass holders who are given quarantine orders by MOH, as it is a form of hospitalisation leave.

Apply for levy waiver

Can employers get a levy waiver for Work Permit or S Pass holders who went to mainland China on home / overseas leave for more than 60 days, as they are not able to enter Singapore when the travel restrictions are in place?Show

Employers can get a levy waiver for foreign employees on home or overseas leave beyond the 60 days cap if they are not able to return to Singapore because of the travel restrictions.

Apply for levy waiver

Can employers apply work passes for new Chinese workers who are currently not in China, for instance, students who are currently studying in another country?Show

Since 31 January 2020, MOM will reject all new work pass applications for foreign workers from mainland China until further notice. Employers may appeal with documentary proof that the applicant has not been to China recently.

Can employers apply for a work pass to hire an existing Chinese worker who is currently working with another Singapore employer, and has not travelled out of Singapore recently?Show

Employers can apply for an Employment Pass or an S Pass for an existing Chinese worker who is currently working with another Singapore employer and has not travelled out of Singapore.

Work Permit applications for such Chinese workers will continue to be subject to prevailing rules governing change of employers, which differs by sector. Please refer to the sector-specific rules for Work Permit for details.

Can MOM extend IPA of workers from mainland China who cannot enter Singapore now when the measure is in place?Show

For IPA holders from Hubei province, MOM will extend IPAs expiring in the month ahead for employers to make necessary arrangement to bring the workers in later, until the situation stabilises. MOM will notify employers when the extension is approved.

For IPA holders from other parts of mainland China (excluding Hubei), employers will have to apply for extension through Work Permit Online.

Employers must ensure their foreign workers fully comply with their LOA/SHN obligations, and send them for any of the above-mentioned work pass issuance-related procedures only after completion of the LOA/SHN period.

Employers or foreign workers who do not comply with the LOA/SHN requirements may be taken to task, including having their work passes revoked and withdrawal of work pass privileges.

To calculate your LOA/SHN period, add 14 days to your arrival date in Singapore, e.g. if you entered Singapore on 1 February 2020, the last day of your LOA/SHN is on 15 February 2020.

Can MOM extend the IPA and Short Term Visit Pass of new Work Permit holders who come into Singapore from mainland China (outside Hubei) and are required to take the 14-day LOA/SHN?Show

To facilitate IPA holders (for Work Permit holders) observing the LOA/SHN, MOM will extend their Short Term Visit Passes by 14 days, and notify the employer when the extension is approved. An employer who needs to extend the deadline for the issuance of Employment / S Passes can apply for extension.

Can MOM extend or renew work passes nearing expiry if the foreign employees cannot return to Singapore because of the travel restrictions? Show

We advise employers to submit a new work pass application for such workers, after the situation stabilises.

Can MOM allow foreign employees to stay longer if employers are unable to secure an air ticket for the employees to travel back to their hometown due to travel restrictions imposed by the local Chinese authorities, or shortages of flight?Show

Employers can apply for extension of Special Pass / Short Term Visit Pass. We will extend the employees’ stay for another month.

Guidelines for employers of FDWs

What should employers do if their FDWs are feeling unwell and start to cough or have runny nose, fever, sore throat or breathlessness?Show

Employers may wish to consider having everyone in the household, including the FDW, take their temperature at least twice a day, and check for any flu-like symptoms. If the FDW is unwell, employers should allow them adequate rest after seeing the doctor. If possible, employers should also consider arrangements to minimise contact between an unwell FDW and those under her care.

If an employer suspects that his FDW or any family member is exposed to COVID-19, the employer should provide the individual with a surgical mask if available, and seek medical attention immediately.

My FDW would like to go for her rest day, even though I am not comfortable with her doing so as I have young children / elderly / someone with weak immune system at home. Can the Ministry impose a requirement for FDWs to stay home during this period?Show

If you prefer for your FDW to remain home during this period, we encourage you to have an open discussion with your FDW. Help her understand your concerns and that this is a temporary arrangement to safeguard her and the family against any possible risks during this period.

If the FDW still prefers to go out for her rest day, the employer should remind her to continue to practice good hygiene habits while she is out, such as washing her hands frequently with soap and to avoid sharing food / drinks. She should also avoid crowded places and large gatherings, and avoid close contact with those who display flu-like symptoms.

Are FDWs allowed to go on home leave? I’m concerned that my FDW will contract the virus while travelling back to her home country for home leave, or be put on quarantine or leave of absence when she returns to Singapore.Show

We encourage employers to discuss and come to a mutual agreement with your FDW on her home leave. For example, some FDWs may agree to postpone their home leave till a later date. However, should your FDW still wish to proceed with her home leave, you should not prevent her from doing so. In such cases, you may wish to remind your FDW to continue practising good hygiene habits and taking the necessary precautions, such as washing hands frequently with soap and avoiding close contact with those who exhibit flu-like symptoms, while travelling back to and living in her home country.

While the FDW is on her home leave, the employer should keep in contact to update her on the latest advisories in Singapore including travel and quarantine restrictions, and also for the FDW to update on her health condition. Employers should also visit MOH’s website regularly to be updated on the latest developments.

Some FDWs may have just returned from overseas travel / home leave and passed through the airport. What precautions should employers take?Show

Employers should continue to advise the FDW to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently with soap and avoiding sharing of food / drinks.

As part of general precautionary measures, employers may also wish to consider having everyone in the household, including the FDW, take their temperature at least twice a day, and check for any respiratory symptoms.

If an employer suspects that his FDW or any family member is exposed to COVID-19, the employer should provide the individual with a surgical mask if available, and seek medical attention immediately.