Gov’t Calls On Employers To Regularly Test Unvaccinated Staff
SINGAPORE – In a bid to protect the health and well-being of all persons in the workplace, the government has issued a guideline urging all employers doing business in the city-state to routinely test employees who have not yet been inoculated against COVID-19, reported HRM Asia on Wednesday (25 August).
But for specific sectors, the guideline is mandatory. Starting from 1 October 2021, employees in the industries of F&B, eldercare, and healthcare will need to be vaccinated. Otherwise, they will be required to undergo regular testing.
“Under no circumstances should an employer terminate or threaten to terminate the service of an employee on the basis of vaccination status alone. Employers should also not place employees on no-pay leave for an extended duration without their mutual consent in writing,” based on a joint statement from the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).
“However, employers may exercise their right to contractually terminate employment if unvaccinated employees do not comply with reasonable vaccination-differentiated workplace measures,” they added.
Aside from that, the parties announced that employers are allowed to ask regarding the vaccination status of their staff for business purposes, as well as compel their employees to show proof of vaccination.
The guidelines also stated that employers should advise their medically qualified staff who have not been inoculated to get vaccinated, as well as educate their employees regarding vaccine efficacy and safety.
Furthermore, companies operating in Singapore are urged to support the government’s vaccination campaign by granting paid time-off to staff so that workers can get inoculated against COVID-19.