Covid-19 vaccinations: Dos and don'ts for employers and staff

The tripartite partners have issued a set of guidelines and advice on how to tackle Covid-19 vaccinations in an employment setting.
The tripartite partners have issued a set of guidelines and advice on how to tackle Covid-19 vaccinations in an employment setting.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The tripartite partners - the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation - on Friday (July 2) issued a set of guidelines and advice on how to tackle Covid-19 vaccinations in an employment setting.

For employers

Dos:

- Provide paid time off to employees for Covid-19 vaccination, including any mandatory observation period after vaccination if the vaccinations are done during working hours.

- Consider granting additional time off for employees to rest if they experience side effects. Most side effects will ease within three days. Employees who suffer severe side effects from vaccination should seek medical attention and apply for sick leave, but for employees who do not have sufficient sick leave, do exercise compassion and flexibility.

- Continue to observe safe management measures at workplaces, including paying special attention to vulnerable employees, such as those aged 60 and above.

- Take appropriate measures to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection for such vulnerable employees even if they have received the vaccination. Such measures include allowing them to work from home, or to travel to or from work at off-peak times, or temporarily redeploying them to lower-risk roles within the company.

- Offer paid sick leave to employees who test positive for Covid-19, and exercise compassion and flexibility for such employees who do not have sufficient sick leave.

- Approach MOM for further advice if there are claims to be made under the Work Injury Compensation Act for serious side effects from vaccination.

Don'ts:

- Do not terminate or threaten to terminate the service of an employee on the grounds of declining vaccination. Employers who have imposed a company policy that requires vaccination for employees in higher-risk employment settings, may, in consultation with the unions if applicable, redeploy employees who decline vaccination to another job with lower risk of Covid-19 infection.

- Do not segregate vaccinated employees from non-vaccinated employees. There is no need for this if employers adhere to the safe management measures for all employees.

For employees

Dos:

- Get vaccinated when offered a slot by the Ministry of Health.

- Employers may introduce a company policy to require vaccination to minimise the risk of outbreaks, for those who work in an employment setting that exposes them to a higher risk of Covid-19. Discuss with your employer why your employment setting has been deemed to be at higher risk of Covid-19 infection, if you do not agree with the assessment. If you are unable to reach an agreement, you may approach MOM for further advice.