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Written answer by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on the review of quantum of penalties and compensation for workplace accidents

Notice Paper no. 347 for the sitting on 10 October 2016

Question No. 347 for written answer

MP: Mr Christopher de Souza

To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the quantum of penalties for workplace safety and health and quantum of compensation for work injuries will be reviewed to promote workplace safety.


  1. In 2006, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act introduced a maximum penalty of $500,000 for failing to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure workers’ health and safety. This was an increase from the $200,000 penalty under the old Factories Act1. MOM has been making strong representations to the State Courts, for penalties to be increased to reflect the severe consequences of failing to comply with the WSH Act. The penalties imposed by the State Courts have been increasing, with the highest fine to date being $220,000. MOM will continue to seek deterrent sentences in appropriate cases. There is therefore no need at this time, to consider further raising the maximum penalty under the WSH Act.
  2. The compensation limits for death, total permanent incapacity and medical expenses under the Work Injury Compensation Act was only just reviewed in 2015. From 1 January 2016, the compensation limits were increased by between 20% and 30%, in order to keep payouts in line with rising incomes and healthcare costs.