sick leave

Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng said that it is inappropriate to use an employee’s consumption of paid sick leave as a key performance indicator for the whole year. 

In a written response to a Parliamentary question, Singapore's Minister of Manpower, Dr Tan See Leng, responded to MP Louis Chua Kheng Wee's queries on regulations governing the use of the number of days of sick leave taken as a key performance indicator (KPI), for employees who are eligible for sick leave and whose leave is certified by a medical practitioner.

"Paid sick leave is a basic protection under the Employment Act," Minister Tan replied on Tuesday (14 September 2021).

"MOM expects all employers to excuse their employees from work if they are certified unfit for work by their doctor. Employees should inform their employers promptly when they need to be on sick leave, so that the necessary covering work arrangements can be made."

The Minister urged employers to adopt fair and objective appraisal or performance management systems that take into consideration the employee’s overall ability, performance, and contributions. He noted that the tripartite partners have consensus that using an employee’s consumption of paid sick leave as a KPI for the whole year "is inappropriate."

Employees who are concerned about how sick leave is taken into account by their employer should approach the union (i.e National Trade Union Congress, or NTUC) for help. Employers who are unclear should also approach SNEF, NTUC, or the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) for assistance.

"If employees or unions cannot satisfactorily resolve the matter with their management, they should approach MOM for further assistance," Minister Tan added.


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