Singapore reviews advisory for workers’ vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination guidelines that allow employers to make vaccination mandatory for workers in high-risk settings are being reviewed.
By: | August 23, 2021

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it will issue an updated advisory soon. 

An MOM spokesman said, “In the light of the (COVID-19) multi-ministry task force announcements on the ‘vaccinate or regular test’ regime in selected sectors, the tripartite partners are reviewing the advisory, with a view to further drive-up vaccination rates so that our workplaces remain safe.” 

This came after the announcement by budget airline Jetstar Asia that all its staff have to be vaccinated by October 1. 

On July 2, the tripartite partners – MOM, the National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation – had issued an advisory that employers should not make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory, and should not penalise (for example, by termination of employment) employees who decline vaccination. 

Employers can, however, make vaccination a requirement when recruiting or advertising for new hires into work settings where employees are considered to have a higher risk of COVID-19 infection. 

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On August 6, the Ministry of Health announced the “vaccinate or regular test” guideline where front-line workers in selected sectors need to either get vaccinated or take an antigen rapid test (ART) twice a week from October 1. The ART will only be subsidised if the unvaccinated worker is medically unfit for COVID-19 vaccines. 

The guideline applies to workers in sectors such as healthcare, food and beverage, and public service, according to The Straits Times.