Work Injury Compensation (WIC) insurance is a crucial requirement for employers in Singapore to protect their employees in the event of work-related injuries. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has established specific guidelines regarding the coverage and terms of WIC insurance policies. This article provides essential information on who needs to be insured, choosing the right coverage, and complying with designated insurers and MOM’s compulsory terms.
Employers must obtain WIC insurance for the following categories of employees:
- All employees engaged in manual work, regardless of their salary level.
- All employees performing non-manual work, earning a monthly salary of $2,600 or less (excluding overtime payment, bonus payment, annual wage supplement, productivity incentive payment, and allowances).
It is mandatory to have insurance coverage for both local and foreign employees. Failing to provide adequate insurance can result in penalties, including fines of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both. For other employees not falling under the above categories, employers have the option to decide whether to purchase insurance for them. However, in the event of a valid claim, employers are still legally obligated to compensate their employees, irrespective of insurance coverage.
Choosing the Right Coverage
When selecting or reviewing your company’s WIC insurance coverage, consider the following:
- Ensure that you have an insurance policy that covers your employees.
- Verify that the insurance policy complies with the eligible claims outlined in the Work Injury Compensation Act, including medical leave wages, medical expenses, compensation for permanent incapacity or death. The insurance payout should not be lower than the compensation limits specified by WICA.
- Review the list of covered employees, including their occupations and numbers, to ensure compliance with the required coverage.
- Avoid under-declaring the number of employees to the insurer to prevent leaving some employees uninsured.
- Be aware of any exclusion clauses and recovery clauses in the policy. Work-related exclusion clauses (except for asbestos-related cases) are not allowed, which means the insurer is liable to pay for accidents even if the policy contains such exclusions. However, the insurer can still recover compensation from the employer if a recovery clause exists.
Designated Insurers and Compliance
To ensure compliance with WIC insurance requirements, purchase or renew your insurance policy only from designated insurers authorized by MOM. These policies must adhere to MOM’s compulsory terms, ensuring adequate coverage for WICA claims.
Accurate Information and Timely Confirmation
To ensure proper coverage and avoid any gaps or issues with claims, follow these steps:
- Review the information on your policy, including the occupations and number of employees covered, and ensure accuracy.
- Use the standard declaration form when providing information to your insurer. This form typically includes details such as the Unified Entity Number (UEN), nature of business, aggregated headcount of employees, aggregated annual wages, and employee occupations.
- If additional coverage is desired, discuss riders with your insurer, such as those for common law liabilities or traveling to and from work.
- Confirm your WIC policy with your insurer within the specified timeline provided by them. Respond promptly to premium quotes or renewal notices.
- Provide all the required information requested by the insurer, including UEN, nature of business, aggregated headcount of employees, aggregated annual wages, and employee occupations.
Ensuring timely confirmation of WIC coverage will prevent any coverage gaps, especially in cases where work injuries occur just after the expiration of the previous WIC insurance policy.
Conclusion: Work Injury Compensation insurance is a crucial component of protecting employees in Singapore. By understanding the coverage requirements, choosing the appropriate insurance, and complying with designated insurers and MOM’s compulsory terms, employers can fulfill their legal obligations while safeguarding their employees’ welfare in case of