Changes to the Work Injury Compensation Act

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Benjamin Gaw, Director and Elizabeth Tong, Director - Drew & Napier LLC

The Work Injury Compensation Bill 2019 was passed in Parliament on September 3, 2019. The new Act aims to facilitate more accurate insurance premium pricing to reward safer companies, expedite compensation claims processing, enhance protection for employees and provide more certainty for employers. The new Work Injury Compensation Act will take effect on September 1, 2020, while related subsidiary legislation amendments are scheduled to take effect from January 2020 onwards.

National Registration Identity Card Advisory Guidelines to Take Effect

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Authors: Benjamin Gaw, Director and Elizabeth Tong, Director - Drew & Napier LLC

On September 1, 2019, Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission’s National Registration Identity Card Advisory Guidelines came into effect. Pursuant to these guidelines, organizations are generally not allowed to collect, use, retain or disclose National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) and other national identification numbers. However, employers may continue to collect, use or disclose the NRIC numbers of employees where required by law or it is necessary to accurately establish or verify their identities to a high degree of fidelity.

Progressive Wage Model Bonus and Annual Increment to be Implemented in Cleaning Industry and Landscape Maintenance Sector

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Authors: Benjamin Gaw, Director and Elizabeth Tong, Director - Drew & Napier LLC

Employees in the cleaning industry and landscape maintenance sector may be eligible for a bonus under the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) from January 1, 2020. The government will also be implementing a 3% annual wage increase to the PWM wage levels from July 1 of each year, from 2020 to 2022 for the cleaning industry and 2023 to 2025 for the landscape maintenance sector. The PWM specifies the starting wages for workers in these sectors according to their skill and experience levels, such that workers can receive higher pay as they upgrade their skills. The new measures will be implemented in the cleaning industry under the cleaning business licensing scheme as licensing conditions, while landscape industries must comply with the PWM in order to be registered on the National Parks Board Landscape Company Register.

Government to Implement Measures to Strengthen Support for Older Workers

Important Action by Regulatory Agency

Authors: Benjamin Gaw, Director and Elizabeth Tong, Director - Drew & Napier LLC

On August 19, 2019, the Ministry of Manpower announced that it will implement all the recommendations submitted by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers in their Report on Strengthening Support for Older Workers. The key measures to be implemented are raising the retirement age from 62 to 65 by 2030, raising the re-employment age from 67 to 70 by 2030, and raising the Central Provident Fund contribution rates of workers who are above the age of 55.

Decisions under the Workplace Safety and Health Act in Q3

Trend

Authors: Benjamin Gaw, Director and Elizabeth Tong, Director - Drew & Napier LLC

The Ministry of Manpower has issued a series of decisions involving both individuals and companies under the Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSH Act) in the third quarter of 2019. A sole proprietor was fined S$140,000, the highest amount imposed on an individual prosecuted under the WSH Act, for a fatal incident resulting from unsafe lifting operations. The maximum sentence for such an offence is a S$200,000 fine, up to two years’ imprisonment, or both. Additionally, an Authorized Examiner was convicted for the first time under the WSH Act for failing to exercise due diligence in certifying equipment to be safe for use. Separately, three companies were fined an average of S$210,000 each in separate decisions for failing to take adequate safety measures to ensure the safety of their employees.