Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Singapore employers can share Covid-19 related costs for workers

Out-Law News | 16 Nov 2021 | 4:00 am | 1 min. read

Current employers of non-Malaysian work permit holders (WPHs) in Singapore who are transferring employment will be allowed to share the costs associated with their stay-home notices and related Covid-19 tests with subsequent employers.

Such costs can be shared if the transfer takes place within 12 months from the completion of the stay-home notice, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Other criteria (4-page / 176KB PDF) include that the shared costs cannot be more than the amount that the current employer had paid, and the current and new employers must sign a written agreement which must be retained for one year from the agreement date.

MOM suggests that the current employer bear costs pro-rated to the worker's duration of employment within the 12-month period. Employers can also determine their own apportionment of the costs by mutual agreement.

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “While these guidelines provide that the current and subsequent employer may share the Covid-19 related costs, it does not make it mandatory for the subsequent employer to do so. Therefore, it is still up to the two employers to discuss and mutually agree to the terms of the cost sharing arrangement.”

These cost-sharing arrangements are applicable to employers of non-Malaysian work permit holders, as Malaysian work permit holders are able to change employers without needing to obtain their employer's consent, according to a local report.

Employer of Malaysian work permit holders may consider having employment terms such as a minimum employment period or notice period for terminations in employment contracts. The terms should be mutually agreed for a reasonable period.