Knowledge Highlights 29 September 2021

On 9 September 2021, the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) issued an advisory to employers on Rostered Routine Testing (“RRT”) and charging policy for workers in construction, marine, and process (“CMP”) sectors, and in dormitories (“advisory”). Details are set out below.

Vaccinate or Regular Testing (VoRT) regime and charging policy

From 1 October 2021, all workers in CMP sectors, as well as those residing in dormitories, will have to administer Antigen Rapid Tests (“ART”) in between their RRT. Vaccinated workers must administer one additional ART in between their RRT while unvaccinated workers will have to undertake three additional ART tests to meet the Vaccinate or Regular Testing (“VoRT”) requirements (i.e. two tests per week).

Ahead of the implementation of VoRT and to prepare the sectors and dormitories for the additional requirements, the Building and Construction Authority (“BCA”) and the Economic Development Board (“EDB”) announced the phase-in of mandatory Employer-Supervised Self-Swab (ESSS) ART on top of RRT for the CMP sectors. MOM also started progressively phasing in ART for migrant workers residing in dormitories from 23 August 2021, and this was made mandatory from 13 September 2021.

On 27 August 2021, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced the Government’s subsidy of RRT for workers as follows:

  • Vaccinated workers: For vaccinated workers, the Government will continue to subsidise the cost of RRT until 31 December 2021. This includes the provision of subsidised ART kits required for baseline tests.
  • Unvaccinated workers: For unvaccinated workers on the VoRT regime, the Government will similarly cover the cost of the same tests provided for vaccinated workers. From 1 October 2021, the cost of the two additional ART tests to be taken by unvaccinated workers will be borne by workers or their employers.

The respective testing regimes for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers are summarised in the table below. The testing regimes will be reviewed regularly as the Covid-19 situation evolves.

Testing regimes for workers

Worker groups on
14-day RRT Regime

Baseline tests
Government to bear the cost of RRT and provide subsidised ART kits for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers

Additional tests
under VoRT

Workers and employers to bear the cost of additional ART to be taken by unvaccinated workers from 1 October 2021

Vaccinated workers

14-Day Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) RRT, with Day 7 ART

Nil

Unvaccinated workers

Day 3 and Day 11 ART
(i.e. two additional ART tests per 14-day RRT cycle)


(Source: MOM “
Advisory to employers - Rostered Routine Testing and charging policy for workers in Construction, Marine, and Process sectors, and in dormitories”)

Declaration of medical ineligibility and vaccination status

For the small group of workers who are medically ineligible for vaccines, the Government will continue to subsidise the costs for all required tests until 31 December 2021.

Employers were required to declare the medical status of those workers who are medically ineligible to complete Covid-19 vaccination by 13 September 2021 in order to confirm their eligibility for the subsidised ART kits.

Collection of ART Kits

The collection methods for subsidised ART kits for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers in CMP sectors and those residing in dormitories are set out in the advisory.

Beyond 2021, the advisory states that employers and businesses should be prepared to factor in the costs of regular testing into their normal business operations. MOM will continue to review the testing subsidies to ensure they support Singapore’s public health efforts, while sharing the costs equitably between taxpayers, employers, and individuals.

MOM strongly urges all employers to encourage their workers to get vaccinated to ensure a Covid-19 safe environment for everyone.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the MOM website www.mom.gov.sg:

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