Singapore Launches ‘Return to Work’ Programme

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Singapore has launched a new program to help injured employees rejoin the workforce as soon as possible, with a dedicated coordinator monitoring their recovery and return to work process. Coordinators will liaise with medical professionals and employers to assist injured employees and improve return-to-work rates. 

Singapore’s minister of State for Manpower, Sam Tan, said it was important employees received immediate support if they were to return to work effectively. “Providing the right services and support to the worker and employer as early as possible following a workplace injury is critical to improving recovery and return to work outcomes.”

The coordinators will: 

• communicate with the patient’s doctor to understand the injured worker’s medical condition
• determine what specialist medical support he or she needs
• talk with employers to understand job duties, barriers, and opportunities for recovery
• review the worker’s capacity and work options

The minister said a study by Tan Tock Seng hospital proved that assigning a RTW coordinator to an injured worker was an effective rehabilitation strategy. On average, employees with access to a RTW coordinator retuned to work ten days earlier than those without one. 

Over the next 12 months, the Ministry of Manpower will partner with seven public hospitals to roll out RTW programmes progressively.

‘Return to Work’ Grant

Mr. Tan also announced that a new $500,000 SGD grant will be introduced to support companies that participate in the RTW programme.

Employers can claim an additional $7,000 per worker for RTW services if the total medical expenses exceeds the limit of $36,000 under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA).

Additionally, expenses related to workplace adjustments which
are not claimable under WICA will be supported through the RTW Grant. Employers
can claim up to 90% of the total cost subject to a cap of $1,000 per worker.

For more information on the Return To Work Programme, click here.

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