Reforms of Singapore’s Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) will take effect on 1 Sep 2020 and aim to improve employees’ protection, increase employers’ certainty about their insurance obligations and reward safer workplaces. The bill passed parliament on 3 Sep 2019.
Here are key changes made by the WICA reforms:
- Only designated insurers will offer WICA-conforming policies containing core standard terms, which should provide more compliance certainty to employers. Unauthorized persons claiming to offer WICA-compliant policies will face penalties.
- Improved sharing of policy information and claims data between designated WICA insurers will facilitate more accurate premium pricing, with the aim of rewarding companies with a good safety performance.
- The mandatory work injury compensation scheme will extend to nonmanual employees at any workplace who earn up to S$2,100 in April 2020 (increasing to S$2,600 in April 2021). Under current law, employers must provide insurance coverage to all manual workers but only certain nonmanual workers earning up to S$1,600 per month.
- Paid medical leave will expand to include employees on light work duties — these employees currently can’t claim paid medical leave. Under the revised WICA, employees will be paid the difference between their earnings while on light duties and their average monthly earnings before the work injury. Employers will have to report to the ministry of manpower all cases of work-related medical leave or light-duty assignments.
- Other WICA changes include:
─ Increased compensation limits, effective 1 Jan 2020
─ Faster processing of injury claims
─ Employees’ right to consult a different doctor — without the employer's consent — if they are concerned that they have been unfairly or inadequately assessed for incapacity
─ Increased fines for WICA breaches
- Press Release (Singapore Ministry of Manpower, 3 Sep 2019)