Manufacturing firm, manager charged over failing to send workers for Covid-19 testing

SINGAPORE - A manufacturing firm has become the first here to be charged over not complying with rostered routine testing (RRT) requirements.

Under guidelines from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), employers are required to schedule their foreign employees for RRT every 14 days to screen for Covid-19 infection.

MOM said on Tuesday (July 27) that Bescoat Manufacturing and its general manager Tan Siew Lee allegedly failed to send three of its migrant workers for the testing.

Emphasising that RRT is critical to public health efforts to detect and contain the transmission of the coronavirus, the ministry added that it takes a stern view of non-compliance.

"Workers who reside in dormitories are required to attend RRT, due to the greater risk of transmission associated with communal living," it said.

If found guilty of failing to establish and apply appropriate procedures and controls to comply with RRT requirements, Bescoat may be fined up to $10,000.

Tan may be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to 12 months, or both.

The case will be mentioned in court on Aug 26.

MOM said that over the past seven months, it issued composition fines and stern warnings to 10 companies for failing to ensure their workers comply with RRT requirements.

These breaches occurred despite regular reminders from the ministry.

Calling on employers to cooperate, MOM emphasised that the measures were established to "mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmitting among workers and into the community, and are necessary to safeguard public health".