‘Not fair’ for employers to deprive workers of allowance when they take sick leave due to COVID-19: President Halimah

SINGAPORE: It is not fair for employers to deprive workers of an attendance allowance when they go on sick leave due to COVID-19 or while waiting for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results amid the current pandemic, said President Halimah Yacob.

Employers should make this clear to workers, she said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Jan 18).

“For companies that pay such an attendance allowance, what they wish to deter is abuse of sick leave and not penalise those who are genuinely sick by depriving them of the payment,” she said.

Her comments came after a pest control technician was sentenced on Tuesday to five weeks’ jail for potentially exposing the public to the COVID-19 virus.

A Rahim M Taha, 60, had gone to the doctor for severe coughing in October 2020.

However, he refused the swab test and medical leave he was told to take, telling the doctor that he would have to forfeit a S$100 work incentive from his company if he did so. The incentive was to be paid on top of the S$1,500 basic salary he made as a team supervisor at a pest control company, the court heard.

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He then went on to work the following day, going on job calls at five locations in seven hours. During this time, he also had lunch with colleagues in his van.

Artmotion Asia

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