Singapore

Govt to issue guidelines on sick leave amid outbreak

Guidelines on how employers should count five days of coronavirus sick leave will be issued by today, said Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad in Parliament yesterday.

He was responding to Mr Patrick Tay (West Coast GRC), who raised workers' concerns that the five days would eat into their 14-day sick leave entitlement.

Doctors have been advised by the Health Ministry to issue five-day medical certificates for people who display respiratory symptoms such as fever or cough during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Zaqy said: "If an employee were to have insufficient outpatient sick leave in the future, employers are encouraged to be flexible and compassionate and grant additional sick leave to the employee."

STRICTER RESTRICTIONS

He also addressed concerns raised in the House on the treatment of migrant workers amid stricter restrictions on foreign workers during the outbreak.

These measures include obtaining the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) approval before work pass holders with recent China travel history can enter Singapore and mandatory stay-home notices for such workers.

MPs also questioned the harshness and fairness of how the new control measures were carried out.

As of last Saturday, MOM had suspended the work pass privileges of 15 employers - three of them had workers who were not found culpable.

These workers were given the chance to find other jobs in Singapore, said Mr Zaqy.

He added that it is important for the Government to signal to the public that it is not taking a matter of public health lightly.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

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