In response to complaint by anonymous Singapore Airlines (SIA) employees over an incentive system that penalises them on the number of sick leaves they take, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) responded subtly saying, “Employers should avoid penalising an employee solely based on his consumption of sick leave.”
The MOM further refused to investigate SIA for infringement of employment rights over the demerit system. According to SIA employees, everyone starts with a 10 point each year and lose points on each medical leave taken in the year. The points will then form part of the appraisal and affects bonuses, promotions and contract renewals, States Times Review reports.
Ministry of Manpower (MOM) urged all employers to excuse their employees from work in case they are sick or hospitalisation leave, as per doctor’s instructions on producing a valid Medical Certificate (MC).
This would allow employees who are ill to obtain medical care and recover, while preventing transmission of contagious illnesses at the workplace. The spokesman was quoted by TNP saying, “Paid sick and hospitalisation leave is a basic protection under the Employment Act and is also a core benefit in collective agreements… employers should avoid penalising an employee solely based on his consumption of sick leave.”
The Ministry further added that employers should fairly appraise their employees taking into consideration, their contributions, performance, competency and ability. Further, employers should clearly communicate their employment terms to all employees such to avoid any misunderstanding. Employees, who feel penalised for taking a sick leave, can contact the Ministry for help.
According to the law, employees with six or more months of service can get minimum of 14 days and upto 60 days of paid sick and hospitalisation leave, respectively.