Singapore – Companies are no longer allowed to penalise employees for taking sick leave, according to Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) Senior Parliamentary Secretary Hawazi Daipi.
Employers will be committing an offence if they refuse any worker’s request to take sick leave, Hawazi said yesterday in response to a question by Marine Parade GRC MP Ong Seh Hong.
Those convicted of the offence under the Employment Act can be fined up to $5,000. In subsequent convictions, they can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed up to 12 months, or given both punishments.
In a Straits Times report, Hawazi added that those who feel compelled to continue working despite being sick or “are unfairly penalised in the consumption of sick leave” can seek help from the ministry. “If they are union members, they could also seek help from their union."
Ong had asked for the channels available to employees punished for reporting sick during peak festive periods.
Marina Bay Sands had made headlines last month for informing its casino dealers that they would receive demerit points if they take sick leave on Chinese New Year, which fell on 3 February. Those with a medical certificate will receive two demerit points while those without will be given four.
The integrated resort later abolished the plan after MOM stepped in.
Hawazi also urged companies to familiarise themselves with local labour laws by attending programmes held by employers' groups.
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