Max compensation for workplace-related injuries up 17%, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Max compensation for workplace-related injuries up 17%

Employers will face far higher compensation payouts when staff members suffers workplace-related injuries under upcoming changes to the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA).

Under the new levels, which will apply from November 2025, bosses will be liable for a maximum of $269,000 in the event of a workplace death – up from $225,000 now.

The maximum compensation for a worker suffering total permanent incapacity will also rise, from $289,000 to $346,000, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) noted on Feb 8.

The act allows employees to make claims for work-related injuries or diseases without having to file a civil suit under common law, making it a low-cost and quicker alternative for seeking compensation. Claims can be made up to one year from the accident.

The compensation limits, which were last increased in 2020, are being updated as part of regular MOM assessments to keep pace with wage growth and rising healthcare costs.

“WICA provides for compensation regardless of the party at fault. As such, compensation limits are capped to protect employers from large payouts,” it noted.

There were 36 workplace deaths in 2023, a 21.7 per cent drop from the 46 recorded in 2022.

Some of the fatalities in 2023 included a construction worker who fell from about 4m while doing waterproofing work on a roof in Feb 2023. Two workers died in April in separate incidents, with one man falling while working on a new lift shaft. The other died after a forklift fell on him.

The improvement in workplace fatality numbers in 2023 came after a slew of measures, including tougher penalties for safety breaches, was put in place to curb a worrying spate of deaths in 2022.

Further measures to reduce workplace accidents, including a compulsory safety course for chief executives, will kick in later in 2024.