Employees who are physically well but have self-tested positive for COVID-19 may be allowed to work from home. If working from home is not possible, employers are strongly encouraged to treat the period of absence as paid sick leave without requiring a Medical Certificate (MC).
As each company has different business needs, you should discuss and mutually agree with your employees and union (if applicable) on the period of sick leave that may be granted without an MC to employees who tested positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic. If there are disputes over the period of absence, you may require employees to produce an MC for the purpose of granting paid sick leave as per the Employment Act.
Medically vulnerable persons (i.e. seniors and those with chronic medical conditions) that have ARI symptoms, as well as persons with severe, prolonged or worsening ARI symptoms, should see a doctor.
Under the Employment Act, eligible employees will be entitled to paid sick leave when they are certified unfit for work by a doctor. As part of their talent attraction and retention strategies, employers may grant employees with mild ARI symptoms paid sick leave without requiring MC. In such instances, employees should maintain open communication with their employers and utilise such concessions mindfully, while ensuring that the company’s business needs are fulfilled.
If there are disputes over the period of absence, you may require employees to produce an MC for the purpose of granting paid sick leave as per the Employment Act.
Every employee who has at least 3 months of service is entitled to up to 60 days of paid sick leave, including hospitalisation leave.
For new employees who do not have sufficient paid sick leave entitlement to cover the period of absence, employers are encouraged to allow them to take advanced paid sick leave. In the event of contract termination which happens before the employee has completed 3 months of service, the employer may make the necessary salary deductions for unearned sick leave benefit.
You should exercise compassion and flexibility in supporting the needs of your employees.
If your employee can work from home (WFH), you may arrange for your employee to do so.
If your employee is unable to WFH, the period of absence from work should be treated as childcare leave or annual leave.
For employees who have used up their childcare leave or annual leave, employers are encouraged to exercise compassion and flexibility by granting additional paid leave.