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Work Injury Compensation Act & Handling Insurance Claims

21 May 2021

Work Injury Compensation Act & Handling Insurance Claims

21 May 2021, Singapore – In light of the increased safety concerns during COVID-19, the Association partnered with Mr David Shanmugam, Counsel of Netto & Magin LCC and Ms Pamela Koh, Financial Service Consultant at AIA to organise a webinar for ASPRI members on 21 May 2021, Friday. The webinar covered the updated Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) and explained the liabilities of an employer.

In the first part of the webinar, Mr Shanmugam explained that the WICA lets employees make claims for work-related injuries or diseases without having to file a civil suit under common law. It is a low-cost and quicker alternative to common law for settling compensation claims.

He pointed out that employees who sustained injuries or contracted occupational diseases arising out of their work, or the estates of employees who died in a work-related accident, are entitled to claim work injury compensation. The WICA covers all employees engaged under a contract of service or apprenticeship, regardless of their salary.

An employee can make a claim under the WICA for personal injuries by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment i.e. arising during working hours or while on official duties; including accidents that happen while travelling to and from the workplace in company provided transport (not by public transport); and injuries sustained abroad while on overseas assignments.

Mr Shanmugam revealed that employees can claim medical expenses (including consultation), hospitalisation fees, treatment and surgery fees, artificial limbs and surgical appliances, compensation for permanent incapacity or death and wages while on medical leave.

There is, however, a group of people that are not covered by the WICA. They are self-employed people, independent contractors, domestic workers, members of the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force, Singapore Civil Defence Force, the Central Narcotics Bureau and the Singapore Prison Service.

Though the WICA served to enhance the protection for employees, Ms Koh revealed that the WICA also influenced companies and employers to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. In the second part of the webinar, Ms Koh covered the WICA from the perspective of an employer. It covers the insured employer against any legal liability as required under the Act.

She highlighted all employers are required to provide compensation to any employee or his dependants. Failure to do so constitutes as an offence punishable by a maximum fine of S$10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months. Ms Koh then went through the claims procedure step-by-step and shared some case studies with the attendees.

ASPRI members got the opportunity to ask questions and clarify their concerns at the end of the webinar. It was attended by over 50 member companies who found the session to be very useful. The Association thanks everyone for attending and both Mr Shanmugam and Ms Koh for making this webinar possible.

Resources:

  1. Work Injury Compensation Act presentation deck
  2. Amendments to Work Injury Compensation Act
  3. Work Injury Compensation Insurance presentation deck
  4. Webinar recording

Details

Date:
21 May 2021