Employment Singapore s Client Alert August 2015 Singapore Increases Work Injury Compensation For Employees In a speech he gave during the Workplace Safety and Health Awards on 24 July 2015, Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say announced some changes to the Work Injury Compensation Act (Cap. 354) ("WICA"). Overview Currently, under WICA, an employee in Singapore may claim for medical expenses, medical leave wages and, where applicable, lump-sum compensation for permanent incapacity or death. An employee can also claim compensation if he contracts an occupational disease which is listed in the Second Schedule of the WICA or if the disease is contracted due to work-related exposure to chemical or biological agents. From 1 January 2016, the Ministry of Manpower ("MOM") will implement changes to WICA to provide more compensation to injured employees. The two key changes are: 1. Higher compensation limits; and 2. Facilitating employee's return to work. Higher compensation limits MOM will raise the compensation limits under the WICA to ensure that payouts under it remain relevant. The maximum and minimum compensation limits for death and total permanent incapacity under the WICA will be increased by about 20%. The cap on medical expenses will also be raised from S$30,000 to S$36,000. A summary table reflecting the changes is set out below. Limits Existing Limit New Limit Death Minimum S$57,000 S$69,000 Maximum S$170,000 S$204,000 Total Permanent Incapacity Minimum S$73,000 S$88,000 Maximum S$218,000 S$262,000 Medical Expenses Up to S$30,000 or 1 year from date of accident, whichever is reached first Up to S$36,000 or 1 year from date of accident, whichever is reached first For further information please contact: Kelvin Poa +65 6434 2524 firstname.lastname@example.org Celeste Ang +65 6434 2753 email@example.com Ng Zhao Yang +65 6434 2701 firstname.lastname@example.org Clarence Ding +65 6434 2662 email@example.com Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow 8 Marina Boulevard #05-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1 Singapore 018981 www.bakermckenzie.com Client Alert | 2. Facilitating employee's return to work Treatments that facilitate an employee's early return to work will now be claimable as part of the WICA medical expenses. This would allow injured employees to recover and get back to work as soon as possible, benefiting both the employee and the employer. Treatments that are claimable would include but are not limited to: 1. Charges for physiotherapy occupational and speech therapy; 2. Case management psychotherapy; 3. Functional capacity evaluation and worksite assessment for purposes of rehabilitating an injured employee back to work; and 4. The cost of medicines and artificial limbs and surgical appliances. Conclusion These changes are yet another illustration of the MOM stepping up its efforts to modernise Singapore's labour legislation. Employers should thus be mindful of the increased compensation limits and the rehabilitative treatments that are now claimable medical expenses under WICA and ensure that they are adequately covered under insurance. ©2015 Baker & McKenzie. All rights reserved. Baker & McKenzie International is a Swiss Verein with member law firms around the world. In accordance with the common terminology used in professional service organizations, reference to a “partner” means a person who is a partner, or equivalent, in such a law firm. Similarly, reference to an “office” means an office of any such law firm. This may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.