Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has revealed efforts to support healthcare workers in Singapore, who have had their leave and holiday plans cancelled to be at the frontline of the virus situation.

According to the Ministry, healthcare workers who have been mobilised in public hospitals have had their annual leave frozen to help handle a higher expected volume of patients;  at the same time, some have also had to cancel their previously-approved leave applications, air tickets and other holiday bookings.

Following this, the Healthcare Services Employees' Union (HSEU) had raised concerns to MOM, the National Trades Union Congress, Singapore National Employers' Federation, and the public healthcare institutions.

Through that, the parties have agreed upon the following measures to support healthcare workers:

  • The affected healthcare workers will receive a proof of the employer's cancellation of leave from the public healthcare institutions, in support of seeking refunds from their travel agents and insurance companies.
  • In the event the travel agent or travel insurance firm is unable to refund the full amount, the public healthcare institutions will help defray the incurred costs.
  • Affected healthcare workers who face any difficulties with their refund claims, can approach HSEU for assistance.

MOM suspends two employers' work pass privileges, revokes workers' work passes

In other COVID-19-related news, MOM has revoked the work passes of two workers and suspended the work pass privileges of their employers.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry said the employers had applied for the two workers to enter Singapore on Tuesday (11 February), but had their applications rejected due to its efforts to ensure a "manageable and orderly return of such workers."

Even though the employers were informed of the outcome at least 12 hours before the workers’ intended arrival, the workers still made the journey and entered Singapore on 11 Feb 2020.

This was going against MOM's rules set in place effective 11:59pm on 8 February 2020, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, whereby all work pass holders with travel history to mainland China within the past 14 days, are required to obtain the Ministry's prior approval before entering/returning to Singapore.

In light of this, the above-mentioned employers have been ordered to repatriate their workers within 24 hours. These employers also had their work pass privileges suspended for one year, while the workers have been permanently banned from working in Singapore.

Earlier this week, the work pass privileges of six employers were suspended and four individuals had their work passes revoked, for breaching the leave of absence requirements put in place by the government.


Patrick Tay on DBS branch's BCP following confirmed COVID-19 case

Following the confirmation of a COVID-19 case at DBS' Marina Bay Financial Centre branch, NTUC Secretary-General Patrick Tay has shared in a Facebook post that all staff and workers including frontliners are managing well.

He also lauded the bank's "strong" business continuity management, which included staff welfare for those placed on leave of absence as well as the rest of the staff who are still working.

View the full Facebook post below.

Photo / 123RF