In September 2019 the Singaporean government passed legislation called the Work Injury Compensation Act 2019 (WICA). In its essence the Act helps prevent injuries from occurring, speeds and simplifies the claims process for all parties, provides greater protection for employees and increases certainty for employers.
“We see this Act as a positive step forward for employers and employees alike,” says Sunil Chugani, CEO of Galaxy Insurance Consultants. “We recommend employers in Singapore be diligent about achieving or maintaining high safety standards to keep their workers safe and prevent policy rates from rising quickly after the law goes into effect.”
Injury prevention – Currently Singapore lacks information sharing between insurers and clients’ claims histories. This means companies with excellent safety records subsidize those who have higher claims experience. The Act makes all past claims data available to all designated Work Injury Compensation (WIC) insurers. This information provides a strong incentive to every employer to create safe working environments in order to keep their rates stable.
Simplified claims process – WICA now allows compensation to be made at the first opportunity six months from the date of the accident. See the section in this article titled ‘Faster and simpler claims processes’ to learn how claims are currently processed.
More protection for employees – Currently WICA cover is mandatory for (Manual Employees or ME) and white collar (Non-Manual Employees or NME) employees who earn up to S$1,600 a month. When the new law is enacted insurance cover will continue to be mandatory for both sets of employees and the salary threshold to insure white collar workers will be raised to S$2,100 per month in April 2020, and S$2,600 in April 2021.
Increased certainty for employers – WIC insurers now face up to an S$80,000 fine if they sell policies that are not compliant with the new law. This addresses a gap that currently exists where some work scenarios go uncovered. Read page 4 of this Ministry of Manpower (MOM) document to learn about the improved certainty the law brings for employers.