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Singapore’s State Courts have fined an employer, Lyon & Dianzi, S$8,000 for failing to pay work injury compensation to a non-manual employee, a senior art director of the company.
This is the first time an employer has been prosecuted for failing to pay work injury compensation to a non-manual employee.
Under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), it is not mandatory for employers to purchase insurance to cover their liability for non-manual workers earning more than $1,600 per month.
However, they remain liable to pay compensation should there be a valid claim filed by such workers who are injured during the course of work.
The case took shape when in December 2012, a senior art director of the company was injured at work after falling down a flight of stairs.
The employer was issued an Order by an Assistant Commissioner in March 2014 to pay $18,262.64 to the employee for medical leave wages and medical expenses, and another Order in June 2014 to pay $21,800.00 for the permanent incapacity sustained.
Despite being given ample opportunity to do so, the employer failed to pay the compensation, and thus was prosecuted under WICA.
Kee Ee Wah, director of the work injury compensation department of Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said:
“Employers are liable to pay compensation to their employees who sustained injuries in the course of their work, including those employees for whom insurance for work injury compensation is not mandatory.
“Therefore, to protect themselves against compensation claims, employers are encouraged to purchase work injury compensation insurance for all employees and ensure that the insurance policy is adequate to cover eligible claims under WICA.”
“We will not hesitate to act against employers who do not discharge their responsibility to injured employees,” she added.