Finance & Compliance

A Guide for Employers Navigating the Work Injury Compensation Act

Winnie Lu

May 24, 2024

What is the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) in Singapore?

Imagine this: An employee is hustling for company when - ouch! An accident leaves him / her injured. Medical bills pile up, and work seems out of the question. But what if there was a safety net? Enter the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), a Singaporean law that protects employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Think of it as a first-aid kit for employee’s finances after a workplace mishap.

Who is Covered Under WICA?

WICA is an inclusive program, covering almost all employees in Singapore, regardless of their salary. This includes:

  • Full-time and part-time staff
  • Foreign workers
  • Contract workers (with some exceptions)
  • Apprentices

And WICA doesn’t cover:

  • Independent contractors 
  • Self-employed
  • Domestic workers 
  • Uniformed personnel

When Employees Can Make a Claim Under the Work Injury Compensation Act?

Not every workplace bump or bruise qualifies for WICA. Here's what makes a claim eligible:

  • The injury must arise out of and in the course of employment. This means it happens on the job, not during your lunch break or personal errands. However, there are exceptions. For instance, if you're injured while on an overseas assignment for work, WICA might still cover you.
  • The injury must be caused by an accident. Falling off a ladder at work? That's covered. Repetitive strain injury from years of typing? Not so much (unless it's a sudden worsening due to work).
  • The injury can include occupational diseases. This broadens the scope of WICA. If you contract an occupational disease, like carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive tasks, or a disease from exposure to biological or chemical agents at work (like lung problems from working with asbestos), WICA can provide compensation.
  • You must report the injury within one year of the accident or diagnosis of an occupational disease. Don't delay - the sooner you report, the smoother the claim process.
When Employees Can Make a Claim Under the Work Injury Compensation Act? (Photo: RDNE Stock project)

Types of Compensation Under WICA

WICA offers a helping hand in various ways when you're injured on the job. Here's what you can claim:

  • Medical Leave Wages: WICA reimburses a portion of your salary while you're recovering.
  • Medical Expenses: From hospital bills to medication costs, WICA helps cover approved medical expenses related to your work injury.
  • Permanent Incapacity Compensation: If your injury leaves you with lasting limitations, WICA provides a lump sum compensation based on the severity.
  • Dependants' Compensation: In the sad event of a work-related death, WICA offers financial support to your dependents.

Work Injury Compensation Insurance: A Must-Have for Employers

WICA might protect employees, but employers have responsibilities too. By law, all employers in Singapore must obtain Work Injury Compensation Insurance (WICI). This insurance covers your legal obligation to pay compensation under WICA, taking the financial burden off your shoulders.

For Employees: How to Claim Work Injury Compensation

Here's a step-by-step guide for employees navigating a WICA claim:

  1. Report the Injury: Inform your employer immediately about your work injury.
  2. Seek Medical Attention: Get a doctor's report that clearly states your work injury and its connection to your job.
  3. File a Work Injury Report (WIR): This report, submitted to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), documents your claim. Your employer can help you with this.
  4. Claim Review & Approval: MOM will review your claim and notify you of the decision.
Step-by-step guide for employees navigating a WICA claim. (Photo: Alex Green)

For Employers: Employee Injured? A Guide to Supporting Them Through a WICA Claim

When an employee gets injured on the job, here's how to handle the situation:

  1. Provide First Aid: Ensure the employee receives immediate medical attention.
  2. Investigate the Accident: Understand how the accident happened and take steps to prevent similar occurrences.
  3. Report accident or notify MOM: If it’s fatal accidents, please notify MOM as soon as possible and submit accident report within 10 days. For non-fatal accidents, employers have to submit accident report within 10 days.
  4. Assist with WIR Filing: Help your employee complete the Work Injury Report (WIR).
  5. Cooperate with MOM: Provide any information requested by MOM during the claim process.

Remember: Employers have a duty to create a safe work environment. By following safety regulations and procedures, you can minimize the risk of work-related injuries and keep your employees, and your business, healthy.

WICA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: What if the employer doesn't have WICI?
By law, all employers must have WICI. If they don't, employees should report them to MOM.

Q: Can employee claim under WICA and sueemployer separately?
No. Employees can only choose one route - WICA or a common law lawsuit.

Q: How long does the WICA claim process take?
The timeline varies depending on the complexity of the case. However, resolving a claim typically takes a few months.

Sources and Additional Resources

This blog post serves as a general guide to WICA in Singapore. For comprehensive details and the latest updates, refer to these official resources:

Swingvy: Streamline Your Leave Management Process

Simplify your leave management process! Swingvy's leave management module automates approvals, tracks balances, and keeps you compliant.  Focus on your team, not paperwork. Try Swingvy today!

Learn More about Swingvy Leave management software

Explore More Blogs


Be the first to know.

Sign up to our newsletter to get insights and strategies delivered
straight to your inbox.

People Operations Platform
Full-suite HR software for payroll, leave management, time, claims and much more.