FAQs on Vaccination Matters for Employees

Q1. Can my employer force me to go for vaccination?

Ans: Vaccination is NOT mandatory. Thus employer cannot force employee to vaccinate. Seek help from union if you are a union member.


Q2. My employer is threatening me to take the jab or lose my job. What can I do?

Ans: Under Section 7 of MOM Advisory on Covid 19 Vaccination at the workplace:

Under no circumstances should an employer terminate or threaten to terminate the service of an employee on the basis of vaccination status alone. Employers should also not place employees on no-pay leave for an extended duration without their mutual consent in writing. However, employers may exercise their right to contractually terminate employment if unvaccinated employees do not comply with reasonable vaccination-differentiated workplace measures.

  1. If you are a union member, you can approach your union for assistance.
  2. If you are not a union member, you can make an appointment with an Advisory Officer of Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) at this website: https://www.tal.sg/tadm/eservices/make-or-manage-appointment
  3. Try to memo your superior to record notes of the meeting. The objective is to present evidence and to clarify issues in writing, to strengthen your case.


Q3. My employer is pressuring me to take the jab. What can I do?

Ans: Record conversations of employer pressuring you. In the event that employer terminates your employment with notice and without reason given which does not constitute wrongful dismissal as both parties have a right to contractually terminate employment with notice, you will have evidence that it was probably due to your vaccination status which amounts to discrimination and is thus wrongful.


Q4. My employer has just terminated my employment without notice. What can I do?

Ans: This constitutes wrongful dismissal.

First register your claims at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) for mediation. Mediation at TADM is compulsory. Only disputes which remain unresolved after mediation at TADM may be referred to the Employment Claims Tribunals.

You may file for wrongful dismissal for just under $100 at the ECT. The Employment Claims Tribunals ("ECT") was established under the Employment Claims Act 2016 (Act 21 of 2016) ("Employment Claims Act"). The ECT provides employees and employers with a speedy and low-cost forum to resolve their salary-related disputes and wrongful dismissal disputes.

After filing your claim, a date and time will be scheduled for the ECT to hear your claim. You are required to present your own case during the proceedings before the tribunal.

Lawyers are not permitted to represent any party during ECT proceedings. In addition, ECT proceedings are conducted in private, so media personnel and members of the public are not allowed to be present.

Do note that the ECT may order the parties to go for mediation at any stage of the proceedings. If a party fails to do so, they may be guilty of contempt of court and liable to a fine of up to S$200,000 and/or a term of imprisonment up to 12 months.

If the ECT judges that a dismissal is wrongful, your employer may be ordered to do one of the following:

  1. reinstate you to your former job and pay you for any income loss due to the wrongful dismissal
  2. Pay you a sum of money as compensation

https://www.statecourts.gov.sg/cws/ECT/Pages/An-Overview-of-the-Employment-Claims-Tribunals-(ECT).aspx


Q5: My employer told me I need to be jabbed or I have to be redeployed to another position. What can I do?

Ans: Under Section 4 of MOM Advisory on Covid 19 Vaccination at the workplace:

Employers may, in consultation with the unions (if applicable), adopt differentiated workplace measures for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees in their workforce, as follows:

C) Deployment. While employers may continue to deploy unvaccinated employees in higher risk activities with regular testing, they can also decide whether to redeploy these employees to another job with lower risk of COVID-19 infection, commensurate with the employee's experience and skills, as per existing redeployment policies. If there are no existing redeployment policies within the organization, the terms and conditions for redeployment should be mutually agreed between employers and employees.


Q6: My employer says I have to pay for the costs of ART but I can't afford to.

Ans: Under Section 5 of MOM Advisory on Covid 19 Vaccination at the workplace:

Some costs are necessary and common for both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, and employers should bear these costs.

Under Section 6 of MOM Advisory on Covid 19 Vaccination at the workplace:

Other costs are required only for unvaccinated employees. Employers can require medically eligible but unvaccinated employees (i.e. excluding employees who are medically ineligible for mRNA vaccines) to bear such additional costs as follows:

COVID-19 related expenses. Employers may recover from these employees COVID-19 related expenses (e.g. cost of test kits, costs of Stay-Home Notice (SHN) accommodation) that are incurred over and above those for vaccinated employees. These expenses can be recovered either through salary deductions or by requiring these employees to pay the relevant service provider directly.

Leave. Unvaccinated employees may be discharged later from treatment or may be served with longer periods of movement restrictions such as SHN, compared to vaccinated employees. In such situations, employers can require that the additional days a medically eligible but unvaccinated employee has to serve, be taken from existing leave entitlements. If leave entitlements have been exhausted, employers may require such an employee to go on no-pay leave.

Medical benefits. Employers may choose to exclude these employees from medical benefits associated with COVID-19 (e.g. insurance coverage).

NOTE that above are not required by law but rather an advisory to employers that they MAY implement above actions so there is room for negotiation and appeal.


Q7. My employer terminated me and cited reasons of poor performance, but I have been appraised above average all this time. What can I do?

Ans: Where misconduct or poor performance is cited as the reason for the dismissal, the employer bears the burden of proof for the ground for dismissal. The dismissal is considered wrongful if the employer is unable to do so.

If there was documented proof of employee's poor performance and employer exercise his right to terminate with notice the employment, dismissal is not wrongful.

If, on the other hand, the employer terminated the contract without notice, the dismissal would have been wrongful because it is not clear that employee's performance was so poor as to amount to misconduct. Furthermore, the employer had not conducted a proper enquiry and given employee a chance to be heard.

File for wrongful dismissal without just cause or excuse. See point 4.


Q8. My employer just terminated me and cited reason of misconduct due to my refusal to be vaccinated. Is that legal?

Ans: Under Section 7 of MOM Advisory on Covid 19 Vaccination at the workplace:

Under no circumstances should an employer terminate or threaten to terminate the service of an employee on the basis of vaccination status alone.

File for wrongful dismissal without just cause or excuse. See point 4.


Q9. My employer wants me to be jabbed to continue in my employment, but I think I am allergic to mRNA shots. What can I do?

Ans: See a doctor (for legitimate cases we may refer you to one) to evaluate for the need of either postponement or exemption of vaccination. Request for a redeployment. See point 5

https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/advisory-on-covid-19-vaccination-in-employment-settings