Unpaid leave await unvaccinated public officers in Singapore

Medically eligible public officers who opt to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 may be asked to take unpaid leave.
By: | November 8, 2021

A Public Service Division (PSD) spokesperson said that from January 1, it “will do its best” to allow unvaccinated officers to work from home if their jobs allow them to do so, and asking unvaccinated employees to take unpaid leave would be the “last resort”.

This comes after the Ministry of Health’s announcement on October 23 that only fully vaccinated employees – or those who recovered from COVID-19 within the past 270 days – will be allowed to return to workplaces from next year.

Unvaccinated officers may otherwise be redeployed to other work that can be performed from home, if such jobs are available, with remuneration “commensurate with the responsibilities of the alternative jobs”, the spokesperson said.

“If an officer chooses not to be vaccinated even though he is medically eligible for vaccination, and if he cannot be redeployed, we may place the person on no-pay leave as a last resort or allow the contract to lapse with no further renewal.”

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The PSD said about 98% of its 153,000 staff across 16 ministries and more than 50 statutory boards have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It will “strongly encourage” the remaining 2% or about 3,000 officers – to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others, according to Channel News Asia.