In view of the heightened risk of importation of COVID-19 cases into Singapore, the Government has encouraged employers to impose Leave of Absence (LOA) for all employees returning to Singapore between 14 and 20 March 2020 if they have not been issued with (Stay-Home Notice) SHN.
During the company-LOA period, employers should adopt flexible working arrangements (FWAs) to allow these employees to work from home.
As the company-LOA would not have been discussed with the employees before the overseas travel commenced, employers are encouraged to provide additional paid leave to the employees if work from home is not feasible.
To support this, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will allow employers and self-employed persons (SEPs) to claim for the S$100 daily support for such company-imposed LOA (company-LOA) under the Leave of Absence Support Programme (LOASP).
The Ministry’s statement said: “Some employers have already implemented a policy where employees returning from overseas travel between 14 March and 20 March 2020 would be put on company-LOA. These employers should continue with their existing flexible work arrangements (FWAs) or leave arrangements, including asking employees to consume annual leave to cover company-LOA.”
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In further plans, MOM will extend LOASP to employers who give additional paid leave to employees who returned to Singapore between 14 March and 20 March 2020 to cover company-LOA. Eligible employers can claim for the $100 daily support per affected employee for the completed duration of company-LOA.
Only employees who are Singapore Citizens (SC), Permanent Residents (PR), and Work Pass holders are covered. Eligible employers will also qualify for levy waiver for affected Work Pass holders.
Employers and self-employed SCs and PRs will not be eligible for the LOASP if
a) Work was performed remotely during the company-LOA period;
b) The affected employee was required to use his own annual leave, childcare leave, or other paid leave entitlements for the company-LOA period; or
c) The affected employee was placed on mandatory SHN upon return to Singapore but the travel did not commence before the specified dates in order to meet the LOASP criteria.
Please note, as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, there may be additional requirements imposed on work pass holders from time to time.
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