Written Answer by Minister for Manpower to PQ on Vaccination Leave
NOTICE PAPER NO. 890 OF 2022 FOR THE SITTING ON 12 JANUARY 2022
QUESTION NO. 2299 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: Dr Shahira Abdullah
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether vaccination leave in addition to medical leave may be considered for workers with COVID-19 vaccination side effects; and (b) whether leave for child vaccination in addition to medical leave and childcare leave may be considered for parents who send their children for COVID-19 vaccination so as to care for their children experiencing side effects from the vaccination.
- The tripartite partners strongly support the nation’s effort to vaccinate against COVID-19. In response to the extension of the National Vaccination Programme to children aged five to 11, the tripartite partners have updated their advice to encourage employers to provide paid time-off to employees for their children’s vaccination. This should include any mandatory observation period post vaccination if the vaccinations are done during working hours, as well as looking after their children if they experience some side effects.
- This is in addition to flexibilities that employers are already encouraged to offer when their employees take their vaccination against COVID-19. Such moves have contributed to the very high vaccination rate amongst the workforce of 98%.
- Throughout this pandemic, employers have been responsible and supportive of their employees, despite COVID-19 measures imposing significant costs and challenges on businesses. The Ministry has in the past responded to calls by Members to create more types of leave for various bespoke needs, by cautioning against adding further burden on businesses. Instead, the tripartite partners support moves towards greater flexibility in working arrangements, which do not compromise the ability of businesses to compete. That employers and workers have come through the last two years of COVID-19 without the need for excessive regulation or litigation, but with a sense of unity, cohesion and focus on the long-term, should give us confidence that our tripartite approach is on the right track.