MOM reviewing advisory on Covid-19 vaccination for workers; aim is for more to be vaccinated

SINGAPORE – Covid-19 vaccination guidelines for workers are being reviewed, with the aim to get more people protected against the coronavirus.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) told The Straits Times that it is reviewing an advisory issued last month, which states that employers may make vaccination a requirement for staff in higher-risk settings.

MOM said on Thursday (Aug 19) that it is finalising the updated advisory which will be issued soon.

“In the light of the (Covid-19) multi-ministry task force announcements on the ‘vaccinate or regular test’ regime in selected sectors, the tripartite partners are reviewing the advisory, with a view to further drive up vaccination rates so that our workplaces remain safe,” said a spokesman.

MOM was responding to queries following budget carrier Jetstar Asia’s announcement that it will require all staff to be vaccinated by Oct 1.

Under the earlier advisory released on July 2, MOM, the National Trades Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers Federation had said that employers should not make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for staff.

They may, however, make vaccination a requirement at the point of recruitment or advertisement for new hires into work settings where employees are considered to have a higher risk of Covid-19 infection.

It was also made clear that companies cannot fire existing staff just because they do not wish to be vaccinated.

The “vaccinate or regular test” regime was announced by the Ministry of Health on Aug 6.

The requirement is for front-line workers in selected sectors to either get the vaccine or take an antigen rapid test twice a week.

These tests will be subsidised only if the unvaccinated worker is medically ineligible for Covid-19 vaccines.

Sectors affected include healthcare, food and beverage, public service, taxi and private-hire, and delivery.

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