MOM: Employees medically ineligible for all vaccines exempted from workforce vaccination measures

WFH remains the default working arrangement, especially during the stabilisation phase (Sep. 27 to Nov. 21).

Martino Tan | October 23, 2021, 11:35 PM

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The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced on Oct. 23 that employees who are medically ineligible for all the vaccines under the national vaccination programme (NVP), including the Sinovac-CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine, are exempted from workforce vaccination measures if they need to work on-site.

This is after the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced in a press conference earlier today that the Sinovac vaccine will be included in Singapore's NVP.

MOM: Only small proportion of 113,000 employees medically ineligible

As of Oct. 17, MOM noted that 96 per cent of Singapore's workforce had been vaccinated.

MOM, however, highlighted that there still remains around 113,000 unvaccinated employees, of whom around 14,000 are above the age of 60, and are at high risk of severe illness or death from Covid-19 infection.

Only a small proportion of these 113,000 employees are medically ineligible for vaccination.

Earlier in the day, the MTF announced that only employees who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 within the past 270 days, can return to the workplace from Jan. 1, 2022.

Unvaccinated employees will not be allowed to return to the workplace unless they have tested negative for Covid-19.

They will also need to pay for the costs of these tests.

The test should be a Pre-Event Test at an MOH-approved Covid-19 test provider, and must be valid for the duration that the employees are required to be present at the workplace.

Special consideration for unvaccinated employees who are medically ineligible

MOM issued an updated advisory on Oct. 23, and called for employers to consider the following measures if their employees are certified to be medically ineligible for vaccines under the NVP.

These measures include:

1) Allowing the employees to work from home if they are able to do so, and that their absence from the workplace should not affect assessment of their performance; or

2) Redeploying the employees to suitable jobs which can be done from home if such jobs are available, with remuneration commensurate with the responsibilities of the alternative jobs; or

3) Exempting the employees from workforce vaccination measures if they need to work on-site.

Pregnant employees at high risk & should get vaccinated

MOM also strongly encourages pregnant employees to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

MOM notes that unvaccinated pregnant women are at higher risk of complications and severe illness should they contract Covid-19.

As of end-September 2021, among unvaccinated pregnant women hospitalised with Covid-19 in Singapore, 20 per cent required oxygen supplementation and 10 per cent needed the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or high dependency care.

In contrast, not a single vaccinated pregnant woman who contracted Covid-19 has needed oxygen or was sent to ICU.

Vaccination rate checker for employers

70 per cent of firms in Singapore have attained 100 per cent vaccination coverage for their employees, MOM noted.

Employers can also check their company’s vaccination rate from 9am on Oct. 25.

Top photo by Adolfo Félix via Unsplash

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