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.
Employees are covered under WICA wherever they work, including from home. If an employee was injured in the course of working from home, the employer is liable to compensate. Nonetheless, the onus is on the employee to prove that the injury indeed arose while doing work at home, and not while performing non-work activities at home.
The 5-day sick leave is granted to individuals who have respiratory symptoms to allow them to rest at home and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Employers can treat the 5-day MC given as part of their paid outpatient sick leave under the Employment Act. Alternatively, if they wish to provide more support for their employees, employers can also treat the 5-day MC as part of their paid hospitalisation leave entitlements.
If an employee were to have insufficient paid outpatient sick leave in the future, employers are encouraged to be flexible and compassionate and grant additional paid sick leave to the employee taking into consideration the prolonged the sick leave used for the COVID-19 situation.
From 24 March 2022, all fully vaccinated new and existing pass holders entering Singapore under General Travel Category border measures will have their COVID-19 treatment costs covered by the Government.
For pass holders entering under Restricted Category border measures, the Government will not cover COVID-19 treatment costs if they develop onset of symptoms or test positive within 7 days of arrival in Singapore, regardless of their vaccination status. Employers are responsible for these treatment costs of their Work Permit and S Pass workers.
Given the above, we will be making changes to our COVID-19 insurance requirements.
It will no longer be mandatory for employers to purchase the COVID-19 travel insurance for their Work Permit and S Pass workers entering Singapore. They may check with their insurers on the pass holders’ COVID-19 coverage under their existing medical insurance plan, and consider purchasing a rider for additional coverage, if required.
For more details on the prevailing charging policies, please refer to the Safe Travel Office’s website.
As an employer, you should:
- Remind your employees of your company’s leave policies when they serve SHN (if applicable) upon returning from overseas travel.
- [Only for non-Malaysian workers on in-principle approvals (IPAs) in the construction, marine shipyard or process (CMP) sector] Remind them that they need MOM’s entry approval to enter Singapore.
- [For those with employment contract or collective agreement that provides hospitalisation benefits] Check with your insurers on the coverage of your employees’ COVID-19 treatment under your insurance plan.
Under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, you must pay for your Work Permit or S Pass holders’ medical bills that are not covered by insurance or the prevailing charging policy stipulated by the Government.