Act (WICA) Insurance
It is a compulsory insurance for employees in Singapore, involved in manual works and all other non-manual employees earning S$2600 or less a month.
However, if the employees make a valid claim, employer will have to compensate them regardless of whether they are insured.
Under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), employees can file a claim if they are injured in a work accident or suffered a disease due to work.
Medical leave Wages
Permanent Incapacity of Death
Compensation for switching to light duties due to work injuries
*Provided it is contracted while carrying out work duties.
Yes. There are a few important changes as of 2021.
Change in Salary Threshold Regarding Compulsory Coverage for Non-Manual Workers
As a business owner, you may now fall under the compulsory coverage for WICA Insurance. From 1st April 2020 onwards, the salary threshold for non-manual employees requiring WICA insurance will be increased progressively till $2,600.
|Before 1 Apr 2020||From 1 Apr 2020||From 1 Apr 2021|
|Salary threshold for non-normal employees||$1,600||S2,100||$2,600|
Additionally, from 1 January 2021, all WIC insurance needs to be issued by a designated insurer, and must comply with MOM’s terms.
You can check out the list of designated insurers from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) here.
There will also be an increase in payout limits for policy benefits:
From 1st Jan 2020, the limits for Death, Total Permanent Incapacity, and Medical expenses will also be increased.
|Limits||Existing Limits||New Limits|
|Total (100%) Permanent Incapacity||Min||$88,000||$97,000|
|Medical Expenses||Up to $36,000 or 1 year from date of accident, whichever is reached first||Up to $45,000 or 1 year from date of accident, whichever is reached first|
In addition to the above changes, you should also be aware of the discontinuation of project WIC policies, from 1 September 2020 onwards and only annual WIC policies will be available.
And to ensure that employers maintain adequate WIC insurance coverage at all times, MOM will be checking on whether firms have WIC insurance coverage as required under WICA 2019, from the start of the employment period.
It will also be mandatory for designated Insurers to share data with MOM from the start of 2021, they will be required to share total wage, employee count, and historical claims data with MOM.
With effect from 1 September 2020, fines and penalties will be imposed by MOM for employer breaches of the legislative requirements:
|Offences||Fines/Penalties (first Offence)||Fines/Penalties (subsequent Offences)|
|Failure by employers to maintain compulsory WIC Insurance||S$10,000 find and/or 12 months’ jail||S$20,000 fine and/or 12 months’ jail|
|Illegal deduction of salary by employers to defray insurance costs||S$5,000 find and/or 6 months’ jail||S$10,000 find and/or 6 months’ jail|
Employee Medical Insurance Plans
As an employer, it is also compulsory to buy and maintain foreign worker medical insurance (FWMI) coverage of at least $15,000/year for each work permit and S-Pass holder. The insurance should cover inpatient care and day surgery, including hospital bills for conditions that may not be work related. Find out more here.
However, as a form of employee benefits, most employers also extend medical insurance coverage to all the employees in their firm. Packaging the foreign worker medical insurance together with that of the rest of the company also ensures consistency and competitive pricing.
Some of the common Employee Benefits Insurance are:
- Inpatient Hospitalisation & Surgical
- Outpatient General Practitioner
- Outpatient Specialist
- Personal Accident
- Term Life
- Critical Illness
Find out more about Employee Benefits Insurance with us here.
While there are cases whereby both WICA and FWMI can cover certain situations, they are not substitutes for each other, and having one doesn’t exempt you from needing the other as each of them are for different needs.
It covers all local or foreign employees that are under a contract of service or apprenticeship form of employment. Regardless of the length of service, salary, age or nationality, the WICA is made enforceable for all employees other than independent contractors, domestic workers or uniformed personnel.
Employees can claim compensation in the event that they have been injured, or if they have contracted any form of a disease that is caused by carrying out their duties at work.
Yes, WICA does COVID-19. However, the employee must have been exposed to COVID-19 from carrying out their work duties. WICA does not cover diseases due to COVID-19 if the employee was exposed through non-work activities.
Coverage must be provided for both local and foreign employees. Failure to comply may result in an offence carrying a fine of up to $10,000 and/or jail of 12 months.
If you have been injured or contracted a disease due to your work (locally or overseas), you can claim compensation. Even if you no longer work for the employer or cancel your work pass, you will still be eligible for compensation.
An employee may file a civil lawsuit against the employer or claim from WICA. But not both.
Unsure whether you fulfil the minimum Ministry of Manpower (MOM) requirements for your employees? Get advice from our friendly Corporate and SME insurance specialists.