Employers can make COVID vaccination a requirement for workers in higher risk settings

MOM, and the SNEF has released a new set of guidelines in an advisory regarding COVID vaccination.

It recommends that employers should not make COVID vaccination mandatory for staff, though it adds that those in higher-risk settings may make vaccination a requirement as part of company policy.

This requirement may be imposed at the point of recruitment or advertisement for new hires into work settings with a higher risk of COVID infection. However, existing staff who decline to be vaccinated cannot be fired.

Redeployment is possible but no termination of staff who decline vaccination

Singaporeans getting their vaccination

Employers who wish to make vaccination compulsory in higher-risk settings may adopt several measures for staff who decline vaccination.

They may redeploy such workers to other suitable with lower risk of infection. However, terms and conditions for redeployment should be mutually agreed upon between bosses and staff.

The tripartite partners also stressed that employers who make vaccination a requirement are expected to communicate clearly to employees that they will not be penalised or have their employment terminated because they decline to be vaccinated.

Introduce paid sick leave for staff who are getting vaccinated

Singaporeans waiting for vaccination

Employers may put staff who decline to be vaccinated on no-pay leave while they are serving their SHN. 

Employers should also provide affected employees with additional paid sick leave to support their recovery from vaccination.

Staff who are deemed unsuitable to be vaccinated or not yet scheduled for their jabs should be exempted.

Employers should find out why employees decline to be vaccinated and address their concerns.

The partners also reminded employers and employees to continue observing safe management measures at workplaces even after vaccination.

Employees should do their part by choosing to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others in the workplace.

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