Singapore: A vaccine-or-test mandate will take effect on 1 January 2022 for practically every worker in the public and private sectors.

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A vaccine-or-test mandate will take effect on 1 January 2022 for practically every worker in the public and private sectors.

Singapore will not allow workplace safety to be compromised by unvaccinated staff.

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Choo Yun Ting

SINGAPORE – Public officers who choose not to get vaccinated against Covid-19 despite being medically eligible may be put on no-pay leave as a last resort or not have their contracts renewed when they end.

In response to queries from news site CNA published in a report on Thursday (Nov 4), the Public Service Division (PSD) said it will do its best to allow unvaccinated staff to work from home from Jan 1, 2022, if the job can be done remotely.

The unvaccinated staff may otherwise be redeployed to other work that can be done remotely if such jobs are available with remuneration “commensurate with the responsibilities of the alternative jobs”, its spokesman said.

But those who choose not to get vaccinated despite being medically eligible and cannot be redeployed may be put on no-pay leave as a last resort, or have their contracts lapse with no further renewal.

The Straits Times has contacted the PSD for comments.

Last month, the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 announced that only fully vaccinated employees or those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past 270 days can return to the workplace from Jan 1, 2022.

Unvaccinated staff will not be allowed at the workplace unless they have a negative pre-event testing result.

The stance taken by PSD – Singapore’s largest employer with around 150,000 officers – is in line with the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) advisory on Covid-19 vaccination at the workplace.

In its advisory issued on Oct 23, MOM, along with tripartite partners National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers’ Federation, said that for unvaccinated workers whose work can be performed at home, employers may allow them to continue doing so, but such arrangements remain the employer’s prerogative.

For those whose work cannot be done remotely, employers can either:

– Allow them to continue working in the existing job with pre-event testing done at the employee’s own expense and time; 

– Redeploy them to suitable jobs that can be done from home if such openings are available, with remuneration commensurate with the responsibilities of the alternative jobs; or

– Place them on no-pay leave or, as a last resort, terminate their employment with notice in accordance with the employment contract.

The advisory highlighted that if termination of employment is due to the employee’s inability to be at the workplace to perform his or her contracted work, it would not be considered as wrongful dismissal.

The tripartite partners urged for special considerations to be given to pregnant employees and those medically ineligible for vaccines under the national vaccination programme.

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No jab, no job; companies can also let go of unvaccinated staff as last resort

Firms can request workers to show vaccination status through the TraceTogether app or token, HealthHub app or original physical vaccination card

Tue, Oct 26, 2021 – 5:50 AM UPDATED Tue, Oct 26, 2021 – 5:50 AM

WORKERS who refuse to disclose their Covid-19 vaccination status can be treated as unvaccinated, and companies can terminate those who do not comply with workforce vaccination measures as a last resort, according to the latest tripartite advisory.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/no-jab-no-job-companies-can-also-let-go-of-unvaccinated-staff-as-last-resort

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Singapore will require vaccination or daily tests for workplace access next year, Health News, ET HealthWorld

October 24, 2021 in POLITICS

Although only 4% of the workforce in Singapore is unvaccinated for COVID-19, the government announced Saturday that a vaccine-or-test mandate would take effect in January for practically every worker in the public and private sectors.

Those who refuse vaccination will have to pay for a daily test and receive a negative result before they return to the workplace.

The announcement by the health ministry comes as the country is experiencing its worst wave of infections yet.
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Only those who are fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID in the past 270 days, are pregnant or are medically ineligible for the vaccines will be allowed to work in person without daily tests, the health ministry said.

About 96% of Singapore’s workforce has been fully vaccinated, Trade Minister Gan Kim Yong said at a news conference Saturday. About 113,000 workers remained unvaccinated, he said, and more than 10% were older workers.

“We would like to seek the assistance of employers in encouraging their unvaccinated employees to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said.

Even though Singapore has one of the best vaccination rates in the world, its number of new coronavirus cases has been higher than ever in recent weeks, with two-thirds of Singapore’s intensive care capacity in use.

“At the current situation, we face considerable risk of the health care system being overwhelmed,” Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said Wednesday.

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