MOM will investigate employers who fire staff who decline to be vaccinated, or threaten to do so

One such guideline is that employers should not make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for staff.
One such guideline is that employers should not make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for staff.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will investigate reports of employers terminating, or threatening to terminate, the service of an employee if he or she declines to be vaccinated, Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Koh Poh Koon said on Friday (July 2).

His comments came after the tripartite partners consisting of MOM, the National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) issued a set of guidelines and advice for businesses and workers on how to tackle Covid-19 vaccinations.

One such guideline is that employers should not make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for staff, but those in higher-risk settings may make vaccination a requirement as part of company policy.

In a Facebook post, Dr Koh said that workers in high-risk job roles who may be medically unsuitable for vaccination should be exempted from the company policy for vaccination.

Employers may want to discuss suitable alternatives with these workers to minimise their risk of Covid-19 infections, he said.

"Covid-19 will very likely become endemic. Vaccination will be key in Singapore's next-bound strategy to deal with the virus, together with testing and treatment," added Dr Koh, urging Singaporeans to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

The SNEF also said that implementing a Covid-19 vaccination requirement as a company policy "carries with it additional obligations".

"Employers should consider the specific circumstances that they are faced with, and the implications before implementing such a policy," the federation said in a Facebook post.

NTUC assistant secretary-general Desmond Choo said the tripartite advisory will serve as a guide for employers and employees in dealing with the new normal, as more people get vaccinated.

He said on Facebook: "Both employers and employees must maintain constant and transparent communications so that we can build the necessary resilience at workplaces. We have a social responsibility in keeping each other safe."