ESG Advisory on the Wuhan Coronavirus for Businesses

Ref No.: 300120 (1)

UEN: S97SS0046G


Dear Valued ASPRI Members,


IMPORTANT: ESG Advisory on the Wuhan Coronavirus for Businesses

As the Wuhan Coronavirus situation in China continues to evolve, the Government has stepped up its safeguards accordingly.

In addition to the circular sent out yesterday, ASPRI would like to highlight the following components of the advisory dated 29 January 2020 by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) for all businesses:

Please obtain a health and travel declaration from employees on whether they have travelled to China recently, or if they have any upcoming travel plans to China.

Closely monitor the health condition of employees who have been in China for 14 days upon their return to Singapore. During the 14-day monitoring period, consider implementing flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and teleconferencing, to allow employees to work from home. If it is not possible to work remotely, you may consider the following options:

  • Provide paid Leave of Absence above and beyond annual leave, especially if the travel was work-related. To better support employees, employers should consider this option even if the travel was not work-related;
  • Allow employees to apply for annual leave;
  • Treat Leave of Absence as sick leave;
  • Allow employees to apply for no-pay leave;
  • Other mutually agreed arrangements.

Employees who are served a Quarantine Order will be deemed to be on paid sick leave. The period of absence from work will be treated as paid hospitalisation leave, as part of the employees’ hospitalisation leave eligibility under their employment contracts, collective agreements or as per the Employment Act.

Although the current situation in Singapore is stable and there are no signs of community spread, ESG advises all businesses to be prepared for different scenarios.

ESG recommend businesses to start developing business continuity plans if you have not done so. To facilitate this, ESG, supported by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), is preparing a Business Continuity Guide for enterprises to refer to in developing your plans to deal with the Wuhan Coronavirus. The guide will serve as a general reference for enterprises in planning for a pandemic caused by influenza and other novel respiratory infections, and recommend actions enterprises may take at each alert code (as determined by the MOH). This guide will be made available soon on ESG’s website.

ESG will continue to monitor developments and work closely with partners – businesses, the Trade Associations and Chambers, and Unions – to support businesses and workers.

To read the full advisory, click here.