Singapore discourages incentive schemes tied to attendance

Enforcement action may be taken on employers who continue to implement attendance-tied incentive schemes from next year.
By: | March 1, 2022

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Koh Poh Koon said in Parliament that enforcement action may include a suspension of work pass privileges.

“The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) will engage and advise employers who still continue with such schemes to stop doing so. If they continue with the practice, TAFEP will recommend to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to take enforcement action,” said Koh.

Dr Koh was replying to a question by Member of Parliament Louis Ng (PAP-Nee Soon) on whether the government will stop companies from issuing attendance bonus schemes which can be a disincentive for employees from taking medical leave when they are sick.

This comes after a pest control technician was jailed for five weeks after refusing to take a COVID-19 swab test as he did not want to forfeit a S$100 (US$74) monthly work incentive from his company if he took medical leave.

READ: Singapore reviews fair employment practices

The 60-year-old man, who was coughing for three weeks and had 37.4-degree-celsius fever, saw a doctor who told him to take a swab test and stay home during his medical leave. He, however, continued to work the next day and went on job calls at five locations, including at a police station, according to Channel News Asia.