WORKPLACE SAFETY LEGISLATION
Singapore – As workers become increasingly aware of their rights, many more are suing their bosses over workplace injuries.
According to figures from the Ministry of Manpower, 12,768 claims through the Work Injury and Compensation Act (Wica) were made last year, compared to 12,288 in 2010 and 11,431 in the year before.
HR experts told The Straits Times the best way for companies to ensure workplace safety is by taking responsibility when an accident happens, so both parties do not have to go to court.
David Ang, executive director at Singapore Human Resources Institute, said bosses must also weigh the risk when deciding on the types of insurance for employees.
“Depending on the size of the organisation, bosses must see if it’s worth it to shell out for comprehensive insurance or face the risk that their workers seek extra compensation from them,” he said.
HR experts ST spoke to said while it is uncommon for workers to sue their bosses, legislation such as the Workplace Safety and Health Act and Wica are helping employees feel more confident about stepping forward if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly.
Under Wica, employees seeking compensation do not need to prove the accident was their bosses’ fault but the compensation is capped.
An employer who is negligent in keeping the workplace safe can be fined up to S$200,000, jailed up to two years or both under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
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