What will you do if you had a injury sustained at your workplace? In a typical situation, the employee will seek compensation from the employer. The process can be lengthy and costly as it involves a civil suit. Some employees may not have the financial resources to do that and have to bear the medical cost themselves if they employer refused to pay bills. We can see that the employee can put a employee in a very disadvantage position. Thus, the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) was in place to let employees make claims for work-related injuries or diseases without having to file a civil suit under common law. With this Act in place, it cut the time and cost of claims. There have been numerous amendments of WICA since its first reading in 1975 due to changes in the workforce, income level and other reasons to be relevant to the employees today. This article will share about the latest changes that will come effect from 1st January 2020.
Changes to WICA
- Increased compensation for death
- Increased compensation for Total Permanent Incapacity
- Increased Medical Limits
The period of claim remains the same i.e. within a year from accident. In additional to the changes in claim limits, WICA also increased the threshold for non-manual employees(NME).
An employer has the option to include a NME who earning less than $2,100 at this point of time. However, when it comes 1 April 2020, it will be complusory and the salary threshold will increase to $2,600 in 1 April 2021. I always encourage employers to include these “optional” employee in their company Workman Injury Compensation (WIC) insurance because the employee can still make a claim even though it is not a mandatory requirement for them to be covered and the employer is still responsible for a valid claim. There is no change for manual workers and they are still required to be in the WIC regardless of salary.
Failure to provide adequate insurance is an offence carrying a fine of up to $10,000 or jail of up to 12 months, or both.
At the moment, employees on outpatient or hospitalisation sick leave are compensated based on their average monthly income. From 1 Sep 2020, this compensation will be extended to employees on light duties due to work injuries. All work-related medical leave or light duties must be reported to MOM by the employer.
Due to the increased benefits for WIC, we forsee premiums to increase as well. As a responsible employer, you are strongly encourage to review your WIC insurance especially with the changes in the salary threshold and may affect some of your employees.
Speak to us if you need need more advice and clarification or a quote.