Written Answer by Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng to PQ on Plans to Assist Unvaccinated Employees
NOTICE PAPER NO. 893 OF 2022 FOR THE SITTING ON 12 JANUARY 2022
QUESTION NO. 2361 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: Mr Sharael Taha
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what percentage of the 52,000 unvaccinated employees are medically ineligible for the vaccination; (b) what is the expected number of employees who are unable to continue with their current employment; and (c) whether there are plans in place to assist those unvaccinated who have lost their jobs to seek new employment opportunities.
- We continue to see more employees come forward to be vaccinated. As of 2 January 2022, the number of employees who had not taken any vaccine dose has fallen to 48,000 from the 52,000 reported on 19 December 2021. Only a very small number of 140 (~0.3%) were certified to be medically ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
- The tripartite partners have issued guidance to employers on the possible measures for employees who are affected by the Workforce Vaccination Measures (WVM), such as allowing these employees to work from home or redeploying them to a job that could be performed from home. In particular, tripartite partners agreed that termination of employment should be a last resort. Ground sensing from the tripartite partners indicate that the vast majority of employers will continue to engage their affected employees. This is very much in the spirit of support and care that employers have shown throughout this crisis.
- Employees who need assistance to transit to other jobs may tap on the existing career matching services offered by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i). However, employment opportunities may be limited for those who are not vaccinated but are medically eligible, as they cannot enter the workplace.
- Aside from livelihoods, we are even more concerned about the risks to lives if these employees remain unvaccinated. As mentioned by the Ministry of Health, non-fully vaccinated persons who are infected with COVID-19 are more than seven times more likely to become critically ill in ICU compared to those who are fully vaccinated, and 12 times more likely to die. Therefore, we strongly encourage the medically eligible but unvaccinated employees to make the decision to be vaccinated as soon as possible.