Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

Legal Update: Work Injury Compensation

Geneva KANN

Under changes to the Work Injury Compensation Act 2019, the salary threshold for non-manual employees requiring work injury compensation insurance has been increased. 

As of 1 April 2021, it is compulsory for Employers to buy work injury insurance covers for all non-manual employees earning $2600 or less a month. This is a further increase from the threshold of $2100 as at 1 April 2020 and the $1600 salary threshold in place before 2020. 

With the aim to ensure that all employees receive compensation for work injuries in an efficient process and timely manner with effective resolution, this means that where personal injury is caused to an employee by an accident or illness arising out of and in the course of employment, any failure by employers to provide adequate insurance is an offence carrying a fine of up to $10,000 or jail of up to 12 months, or both. 

Within the Act, parameters are set out to determine whether an accident or illness is deemed to arise out of and in the course of the employee’s employment. These include:

  1. Where the accident happens while the employee is travelling to or from the workplace, by means of transport operated by or on behalf of the employer; 
  1. Where the accident happens to the employee in or about the employee’s workplace;
  1. Where the accident happens to the employee outside Singapore, where the employee is ordinarily resident or where they are required in the course of employee’s employment;
  1. Where incapacity or death of an employee results from an occupational disease.

It is also noted that for the purposes of the Act, an accident arising in the course of an employee’s employment is deemed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have arisen out of that employment. 

Further improvements to the Act include a faster and simpler claims process, which allow for compensation to be made within the first six months from the date of any work injury. This process is also streamlined by the new changes that require Work Injury Compensation insurers to process all insured claims, instead of the previous arrangement that required temporary incapacity claims to be processed by insurers and death and permanent incapacity claims to be processed by the Ministry of Manpower.

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