Work-from-home arrangements do not change an employer’s responsibility toward their employees, including work injury compesation.
This statement was said by Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad in Parliament on Thursday (Jun 4) in response to a question by Member of Parliament Patrick Tay. Mr Tay was asking for the clarity on the treatment of work injury compensation when the employee’s home is the workplace.
According to Mr Mohamad, employers have to compensate their employees for injuries sustained during work-from-home arrangements, Channel News Asia reports.
“The key is to ascertain that the injury arose while doing work at home and not while performing non-work activities at home. This is a fact-finding exercise that is no different from all other WIC (work injury compensation) claims.”
He added that work injury compensation insurance was purchased by employers to cover employees who are injured out of and during the course of doing work at home.
As Singapore imposed a “circuit breaker” period to curb the spread of COVID-19, workers in non-essential industry were required to work from home since Apr 7. When the lockdown was lifted on Jun 1 and Singapore entered its first phase of reopening, only only businesses that operate in settings with lower transmission risks have been allowed to reopen, meaning many employees are still working from home.
Mr Zaqy said that the the Manpower Ministry had received two reports of work injuries since the start of the circuit breaker. Both claims are being assessed at the moment, said Mr Zaqy, adding that he was unable to provide additional details due to ongoing investigations.
“But so far you look at the valid claims in the past, they’ve been mostly minor injuries and so far no terminal capacity or no fatal cases,” he said.
There have been no changes in the premiums for work injury compensation insurance as well, he said.