Employers who refuse to follow MOM's leave advisory for staff with COVID-19 will have work pass privileges suspended
SINGAPORE: Employers who "wilfully" refuse to comply with a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) advisory on leave arrangements for employees with COVID-19 will have their work pass privileges suspended, said Manpower Minister Tan See Leng on Wednesday (Mar 9).
Dr Tan was responding to questions from Member of Parliament Louis Ng Kok Kwang (PAP-Nee Soon), who asked if MOM would penalise employers who fail to comply with the advisory and what remedies were available to affected employees.
According to the advisory, employees who test positive for COVID-19 with no or mild symptoms should be allowed to be absent from work without a medical certificate.
Employees should also not be asked to take no-pay leave for the period of self-isolation.
Dr Tan said in a written parliamentary reply that employers are expected to follow the positions set out in the advisories.
Such advisories serve to guide employers on implementing employment practices in a fair and responsible manner, Dr Tan said.
"They are issued after careful consideration of the interests of both employers and employees."
He added: "If any employer deviates from the advisory without good reason, employees may approach the Ministry of Manpower for assistance."
The ministry will then verify the facts with the employer and advise them to follow the advisory.
"Thus far, MOM has not encountered any employer who wilfully refuses to conform after being told of the advisory," Dr Tan said.
"Should this happen, MOM will suspend the work pass privileges of the employer."
Amid a surge in cases visiting hospitals, polyclinics or general practitioner clinics, authorities have said that companies should not request that infected employees produce a medical certificate.
Those who require an official record of testing positive for COVID-19 can book an appointment at any combined test centre or quick test centre to do a supervised self-administered antigen rapid test (ART). It will be fully funded by the Government until Mar 15.
The ART result will be sent via SMS and it will be reflected in one's HealthHub records within 30 minutes.