Everything You Need to Know About the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA)


Being a business owner in Singapore, there are many different facets to a running business. More than just profits and growth, you need to comply with the laws and rules that apply to your business and manage the risks that your business faces, and that includes applying the Work Injury Compensation Act or WICA.

Why should you purchase work injury compensation (WICA) insurance for all employees?

While the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) does not apply for the purchase of insurnace for non-manual employees earning more than S$2,600, your company is still liable for their claims. Depending the employee count, the incidence of such injuries and the sums to compensate can quickly exceed the insurance premiums, had these employees been covered under WIC insurance.

As a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) in Singapore, a small count but large work-related injury or disease claim sums can have a negative financial impact to your company. 

What is the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA)?

In Singapore, the WICA is the law that lets employees make claims for work-related injuries and diseases, without having to take legal action.

WICA also makes it easier and less complicated for employees to settle for compensation, as claims will be filed directly to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Claims can be submitted for up to a year from an accident occurring.

Who does WICA cover?

WICA covers all employees, under a contract of an employer or contract of apprenticeship – regardless of salary, age, and citizenship.

However, WICA does not cover self-employed individuals, independent contractors, domestic workers and uniformed personnel of the Singapore government.

As an employer, it is mandatory to purchase Work Injury Compensation Insurance for all employees, both local and foreign who:

  • Are manual workers, regardless of salary level
  • Are non-manual workers, and are earning less than S$2,600 monthly

What are claims under WICA?

Work Injury Claim Insurance (WIC insurance) covers and pays for the claims made by the employee under WICA. However, the employer is still liable for compensation should a valid claim even if there is no WIC insurance in place.

These are some scenarios which an employee is covered under WICA:

  • Meet with a traffic accident while taking company transport between home and the workplace (not a public transport vehicle)
  • Meet with a traffic accident when travelling during work and for work purposes, irrespective of the transport mode and without a personal detour
  • Suffer a work-related injury during an overseas assignment while still under employment from your local employer
  • Injured in a work-related fight where you became the victim. You did not participate in the fight, or were injured while exercising private defence or instructed to break up the fight, safeguard life or property, or maintain law and order
  • Suffer medical conditions such as heart attack or stroke that are due to work

When insurers take over the processing of WIC claims, employers  to submit an incident report to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

What does WICA do for both employers and employees?

WICA provides a transparent framework for work injury compensation. This would make claims and compensation faster and more streamlined for both employers and employees.

Key Changes to WICA

WICA 2019 requires only insurers to process all insured claims, ensuring a smoother claims process that benefits everyone. Other changes include:

  • Changes in compensation and medical expenses limits
  • Expanding  mandatory insurance coverage to non-manual employees, regardless of their work location
  • Expanding the compensation to now include light duties
  • Compulsory reporting for any instances of medical leave or light duties issued for a work accident

Please refer to this for the full breakdown of the changes to WICA.

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Disclaimer: Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. This is only product information provided. You may wish to seek advice from a qualified adviser before buying the product. If you choose not to seek advice from a qualified adviser, you should consider whether the product is suitable for you. Buying an insurance product that is not suitable for you may impact your ability to finance your future financial needs. If you decide that the policy is not suitable after purchasing the policy, you may terminate the policy in accordance with the free-look provision, if any, and the insurer may recover from you any expense incurred by the insurer in underwriting the policy.

Read more:

Do You Need S$316,000 in Critical Illness Insurance Coverage?

What Are Insurance Riders? Should You Buy Them?

Six Factors to Take Note of Before Taking Up a Personal Accident Plan

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