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Oral Answer by Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education, to Parliamentary Question on Work Injury Compensation Claims

Notice Paper No. 30 Of 2013 for the sitting on 5 Feb 2013 Question No. 986 For Oral Answer

MP: Mr Alex Yam Ziming

To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower (a) how many claims of work injury compensation have been filed with the Ministry since the changes to the Work Injury Compensation Act took effect on 1 June 2012; (b) how many claims have been awarded in favour of workers; (c) what are the main causes of work injury; and (d) what action will the Ministry take against employers who do not pay compensation to their workers after the award of claims.


  1. The Work Injury Compensation Act (or WICA) is a no fault liability system that provides a low-cost and expeditious alternative to common law to settle work-related injury claims. Last year, my Ministry made amendments to the Act to ensure that it continues to strike a fair balance between compensation for employees and the obligations placed on employers. We increased the compensation limit, clarified the requirements for insurers and also made revisions to ensure that the WICA framework remains expeditious.
  2. Since the amended Act took effect in June 2012, we have received approximately 7,300 claims, out of which about 5,400 cases have been resolved. The remaining cases are in various stages of processing. About 80% of the cases are straight forward cases and typically between 1 and 6 months to resolve. More complex cases may involve disputes between parties or injuries that require more time to stabilize. These cases take longer to resolve as we need to work with the various stakeholders such as the worker, employer, the insurer and the treating hospital to ensure a fair outcome.
  3. Of the 5,400 claims resolved, about 94% (or about 5,100 cases) were awarded in favour of the injured employees. The remaining 6% (or about 300 cases or claims) were either found to be non-work related, or were withdrawn. The majority of claims awarded in favour of employees were for injuries that resulted from being struck by objects or from slips, trips and falls.
  4. Under WICA, employers are required to pay the compensation determined by the Commissioner for Labour to the claimant within 21 days from the service of the Notice of Assessment or after the Order is made. The vast majority of employers are compliant with the law and none of the cases reported since the amendment of the Act has failed to compensate their employees. MOM takes a strong stance against errant employers who fail to compensate their employees and regularly conducts audits to ensure that employers comply with the Work Injury Compensation Insurance requirements. Errant employers will be prosecuted and may also be barred from hiring foreign workers. If convicted, employers face a maximum fine of $10,000 and/ or imprisonment of up to 12 months. Over the last 5 years, MOM has convicted 6 employers for failure to pay the compensation.
  5. MOM will also not hesitate to take action against workers who exploit the system by making fraudulent claims. Such claims are not only deceitful, but also take up precious investigation resources and delay the resolution of genuine cases. If found guilty, they face a maximum fine of $15,000 and/ or a jail term of up to 12 months.
  6. As we continue to safeguard the interest of injured workers and ensure that WICA remains an expeditious process, I would like to remind all stakeholders not to view compensation as a justified end to accidents. No amount of money can alleviate the pain and suffering inflicted on injured workers and their families. Our primary goal should, and must always be to prevent accidents and make workplaces safer and healthier for all.