Updated on 05-Mar-2021
Advisory on Safe Management Measures for workers on employer-provided transportation
Issued on 10 April 2020
Updated as of 28 December 2020
- On 19 May 2020, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced a phased approach to resuming activities safely as we exit the Circuit Breaker period, including safe management practices on public transport where commuters will be required to wear a mask, refrain from talking to one another or on their mobile phones, and maintain good personal hygiene.
- In line with the commencement of Phase 3 from 28 December 2020, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) have updated this Advisory. The 25% reduction in Maximum Passenger Capacity (MPC) allowable will no longer apply. This means that each lorry or van with a clear deck area can carry up to the maximum number of workers stated on their MPC label.
- However, employers, transport providers and drivers are to ensure that workers ferried on any employer-provided transportation (e.g. private buses, vans and lorries) continue to adhere to the following:
- All workers wear a mask at all times while seated in the motor vehicle.
- Workers should not talk or interact at all times while on the motor vehicle.
- Employers must also arrange private transportation for workers staying in dormitories1 to commute to and from their workplaces, and with no other passengers.
- These measures are necessary to prevent cross-infections between migrant workers living in dormitories and the community, in both directions. If necessary, employers should make provisions for additional trips or vehicles.
Work pass holders required to update MOM on new residential address or mobile number within five days of any change
Issued on 17 December 2020
- With effect from 23 December 2020, all work pass holders, excluding foreign domestic workers (FDWs), are required to update the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on their new residential address or mobile number within five days of any change, as part of their work pass conditions under the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations (EFMR).
- All Work Permit holders (excluding FDWs) and S Pass holders are required to download the FWMOMCare mobile application and register their details by 23 December 2020. Thereafter, they must continue to update their details within 5 days of any change. We would like to seek your help to inform your foreign employees about this.
Advisory on continued medical support for migrant workers
Through our continued vigilance and adherence to safe living measures, we have seen low number of COVID cases in dormitories over the past few weeks. However, we should not be complacent. As part of our continued effort in our fight against COVID-19, MOM will continue to take care and provide medical support for our migrant workers.
- Since 28 August 2020, the health needs of migrant workers have been served through medical centres. In order to provide better care for migrant workers, night consultations are also available at three Regional Medical Centres (6.30pm to 9.30pm) on top of their regular daytime operating hours. Please refer to Annex A for the full list of medical centres for migrant workers.
- Migrant workers with acute respiratory illness (ARI) e.g. fever, cough, running nose or sore throat will continue to receive medical care at no cost when they seek medical treatment at Regional Medical Centres for the time being.
- For all other conditions, consultation fees will continue to be at no cost too. However, from 4 December 2020, medication and treatment, including point of care testing (POCT) and routine panels for chronic diseases will be charged based on a schedule of fees and according to groups of conditions, as shown in Table 1. All other investigations, if clinically indicated, will also be charged. Employers are responsible for providing and bearing the cost of medical treatment for their migrant workers (Work Permit and S Pass holders).
- Migrant workers will also continue to be supported by telemedicine, which is available via the FWMOMCare mobile application. Telemedicine is available 24 hours a day. All telemedicine consultations will continue to be at no cost for the time being
Advisory on extension of night clinics for migrant workers
- On 29 September 2020, MOM disseminated an advisory on the introduction of pilot night clinics for migrant workers.
- We have reviewed the results of the pilot initiative. The availability of night clinics has allowed migrant workers to seek medical attention after their working hours; this could reduce the number of sick day that workers take and reduce disruption to work.
- In view of the results, the Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group plans to extend the duration of night clinics beyond 31 October 2020. From 1 November 2020, the three Regional Medical Centres will continue to be operational from 6:30pm to 9:30pm daily, on top of their regular daytime operating hours.
- Employers and dormitory operators may schedule a night-time appointment on behalf of migrant workers by calling the Managing Agent in charge of the dormitory’s region. If your worker lives in a dormitory, transport will be arranged by the Managing Agent to and from the medical centres. If your worker resides in the community (i.e. HDB or Private Residential Premises), employers should self-arrange transport on behalf of your worker
COVID-19: Singapore, Hong Kong reach in-principle agreement to establish bilateral air travel bubble
Singapore and Hong Kong have reached an in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral air travel bubble, which will exempt travellers from quarantines or stay-home notices.
Those travelling under the bubble will have no restrictions on their travel purpose and will not need to have a controlled itinerary, said the Transport Ministry (MOT) in a press release on Thursday (Oct 15).
Travellers will also not be subject to quarantine or stay-home notice requirements.
However, travellers will need to test negative on mutually recognised COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
They will also be required to go on flights dedicated for those travelling under the bubble.
Ensure workers go through rostered routine testing
Employers must ensure that workers go through rostered routine testing (RRT). This applies to:
· Workers who stay in dormitories
· Workers in the CMP sectors
Some foreign employees may not able to resume full-time work in Singapore because their employers are only allowed to resume operations partially or face poor business prospects. In such instances, we encourage these employers to continue to pay the employees their prevailing salaries by considering the following:
· Allow the employee to consume his existing leave entitlements;
· Redeploy the affected foreign employee to another role within the company;
· Provide the foreign employee with relevant training and upskilling to get ready for the full resumption of business activities; or
· Apply for Flexible Work Schedule (FWS) which allows “time-banking” of salary payments for unworked hours to offset overtime payments in the future.
Night clinics have been introduced at three regional medical centres to facilitate "even better access" to medical services for migrant workers in Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday (Oct 9). These night clinics were introduced by the Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group in MOM on Oct 1 and operate from 6.30pm to 9.30pm daily, in addition to their regular day-time operating hours.
Singapore is expanding swab testing operations and capacity to support routine testing for migrant workers, who make up the vast majority of total coronavirus infections in the city-state that’s trying to reopen its economy.
The government will also add nine more in-dormitory facilities to conduct routine testing for foreign workers by the end of the month, from the current 24 facilities, the Ministry of Manpower and Health Promotion Board said Thursday in a joint press release. There are plans to increase the number of regional screening centers to as many as 30 by the end of the year, from the current 20 centers, with about two thirds of these sites conducting routine testing.
The country has been adjusting its approach to containing the virus spread among the workers, seeking to reduce work disruption and improve their welfare while at the same time trying to detect cases early.
Last month, officials said it will quarantine fewer migrant workers in their dormitories should virus cases be detected in the living quarters.
Advisory for employers whose workers are on Special Passes
- With effect from 8 October 2020, Special Pass holders who were previously Work Permit holders and have remained in Singapore for more than 14 days are required to undergo a Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) when they request for further extension of Special Pass from Ministry of Manpower.
- MOM will arrange the Special Pass holders to undergo swab tests as they do not fall under the eligibility of the RRT that are meant for live work permit holders.
- For Special Pass holders who are due for repatriation, the employers are reminded to submit a request to extend the Special Pass online. A swab test will be scheduled after the request is received by MOM. Employers are advised to submit extension requests at least a week prior to the special pass expiry date to be in time for a swab test to be scheduled. Their workers’ Special Passes will be extended only after they have undergone the swab tests.
- MOM will send SMSes to inform both employers and Special Pass holders on the appointment details on the swab tests. This SMS will be sent out 3 days before the swab test date. Employers are to remind their employees to attend the swab test and bring along the SMS and SP card or letter for the appointment.
- Special Pass holders who do not undergo the swab test to have their passes extended will have overstayed and be liable to pay overstaying fines and/or prosecution action.
Advisory for employers to submit essential errands form for migrant workers to carry out essential errands
With Phase 2 of re-opening, migrant workers living in dormitories that have been cleared of COVID-19 infections will be allowed to leave the dormitory to carry out essential errands, regardless of whether they are allowed to return to work. This will allow our migrant workers to carry out their essential errands safely, and at the same time mitigating the risks of COVID-19 transmissions.
On April 21, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien-Loong detailed in his speech that, "To our migrant workers, let me emphasise again: we will care for you, just like we care for Singaporeans."
SingHealth assured migrant workers that the Government will pay for their hospital costs related to Covid-19, that their employers will continue to pay their salaries, and that they will not lose their jobs. Singhealth, or Singapore Health Service, is a cluster of public hospitals, community hospitals and polyclinics in Singapore and is under the Ministry for Health.
Various government agencies, including the Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of National Development, and Ministry of Defence, were working on attending the needs of migrant workers.
The actions were in response to the spike in new infections, mostly coming from migrant workers living in cramped accommodations.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Singaporean government announced two special packages, the Stabilisation and Support Package for workers and businesses, and the Care and Support Package for households, totaling S$48 billion (US$33.17 billion). Migrant workers do not figure in the aforementioned packages.
Work pass holders and their dependents will only be allowed entry/return to Singapore if they work in transport or healthcare.
As of June 2019, Singapore hosts 1.4 million migrant workers, 70% of whom are work permit holders. Many work in construction, manufacturing, shipyards, sanitation service, and domestic work.