Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 15:11:59

Singapore: Better insurance coverage for foreign workers

VNA Print

Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Singapore (VNA) – Minimum compensation for foreign workers in Singapore who unfortunately have accidents will be 60,000 SGD (nearly 43,000 USD), up from the previous 40,000 SGD (28,500 USD) from October 1, according to recent changes announced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Minister of the State for Manpower Sam Tan said that the move is to ensure all foreign domestic workers (FDWs) continue to be adequately compensated in the event of permanent disability or death while employed in the country.

He pointed out that the adjustment is in line with higher FDW salaries coupled with increases in the cost of living in workers’ home countries since the last survey in 2008.

Starting salaries for FDWs rose from an average of 300 SGD (213 USD) in 2012 to 550 SGD (391 USD) in 2016.

Along with the new compensation level, the annual insurance premiums are also increased from 7 SGD (4.9 USD) to 15 SGD (10.7 USD) a year.

Changes will be made to allow FDWs or their legal representatives to file claims directly with insurers or have an MOM-appointed representative directed to act on their behalf.

To protect FDWs’ rights, MOM is responsible to define when the workers first arrive in Singapore to the date they return homes or to the date their new work permits are issued in case they change employers.

According to MOM’s statistics, there are some 200,000 foreign workers in Singapore and the figure is expected to increase to 300,000 in the next few years.

Last year, the National Trade Union Congress’s Centre for Domestic Employers (CDE) handled insurance compensation for 600 cases. In addition, the centre also calls the Government to increase compulsory healthcare insurance to 15,000 SGD (10,700 USD) for domestic labourers. -VNA
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