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.
For locally transmitted cases, the Government will continue to pay for the COVID-19 treatment for all pass holders (work pass holders and their dependants).
For all pass holders, new and existing, entering Singapore from 1 January 2021, the Government will no longer cover their treatment costs if they develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive within 14 days of arrival in Singapore. This is regardless of when they left Singapore.
The following are responsible for the treatment cost.
including IPA, letter of eligibility (LOE), TWP
|Who pays for COVID-19 treatment
(including TWP holders and FDWs)
|All other passes
||Employers and pass holders should mutually agree on who pays or how to share costs.
As an employer, you should:
- Remind your employees of your company’s leave policies when they serve SHN upon returning from overseas travel.
- Remind your foreign employees who leave Singapore that they cannot return without MOM’s pre-entry approval.
- If you’ve existing employment contract or collective agreement that provides hospitalisation benefits, you should verify with your insurers on their liabilities for medical costs of employees for COVID-19.
Work Permit and S Pass holders traveling into Singapore from 1 January 2021 must have insurance coverage of at least $10,000 for their medical expenses if they develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive within the first 14 days of arrival in Singapore.
If these employees are returning to Singapore under the same employer after leaving Singapore for personal reasons, you and your employees need to mutually agree on who should pay for the insurance costs.
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.
If the COVID-19 treatment cost for a Work Permit, Training Work Permit or S Pass holder exceeds the insurance coverage, as the employer, you must pay the excess amount. This is a requirement under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
You should check with your insurer whether your workers’ existing plans meet the requirements.
If not, you need to get a new insurance or top-up the coverage.
You can consider the following insurers.