News

MAIDS NOT COVERED FOR PERMANENT INJURIES

Maids could be covered by the compulsory Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) policy, but they are "losing out" as they are not compensated for what could be permanent physical impairment, a workers' advocate told The New Paper.

This is because they are not covered by the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), said Dr Noorashikin Abdul Rahman, a board member on migrant worker group Transient Workers Count Too.

"It is quite clear that the terms of the PAI are more focused on covering employer's liability when a domestic worker gets injured in an accident, while WICA is more about awarding compensation to workers who are injured in work-related injuries," she said.

Mr Jolovan Wham, the executive director of Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, agreed. He is spearheading a fund-raising initiative for Ms Khin's medical expenses.

He felt that maids here were discriminated against by Singapore's laws and policies because of the WICA exclusion.

He said: "Many types of work injuries are not covered and the quantum of compensation is determined by individual insurers, rather than a national standard."

PROTECTION

However, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, who sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Manpower, said the issue should be looked at not just from the employees' perspective, but also the employers'.

"While it seems only humane that employers undertake the medical expenses incurred, there should also be a certain level of protection given to the employers.

"For instance, how much would it cost the employers if this was legislated?" the MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC said.