Lim Swee Say
, Minister for Manpower introduced increased compensation limits for work injuries and death that will apply from 1 January 2016.
“Today, they receive support under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), which provides a low-cost and quick avenue to receive compensation. To ensure that payouts remain adequate, we will increase the compensation limits for death and permanent incapacity by about 20% from 1st January 2016,” Lim said.
At the same time, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will also raise the maximum amount of medical expenses claimable from $30,000 to $36,000. These are the first changes to have been made since 2012 and will bring compensation back in line with Singapore’s increasing wages and medical costs.
Lim also said the Ministry was keen to facilitate an early return to work for injured employees. “Research has shown that the longer the injured workers are absent from work, the lower the chances of them returning. If the absence is more than 6 months, only half will eventually return to work. If the absence is more than 12 months, then fewer than 20% return to work,” he said.
To accomplish this, MOM will now permit expenses that speed up a return to the workplace to be claimable under the WICA. Examples of this include:
- Hiring an occupational therapist to assess a workplace and provide suggestions to management on how to facilitate an individual’s re-entry to employment
- Appointing a case manager to coordinate staff, employers and healthcare professionals to further speed up this re-entry process
Lim highlighted the importance of these new changes, saying, “[It] is important that we facilitate early return to work by the injured worker. This not only provides better financial security to the worker, it also contributes positively to his physical and mental well-being”.
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While speaking at the WSH Awards 2015,