SINGAPORE: People with a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen (ART) test result should be allowed to work from home if they are able to do so, read a tripartite notice released by the Ministry of Human Resources. of work (MOM) Saturday (September 25).
If working from home is not possible, employers should treat the period of absence as paid sick leave.
This can take the form of paid outpatient sick leave or paid hospital leave, without requiring a medical certificate, specifies the opinion.
Workers with a positive ART result should immediately notify their employer and begin their self-isolation at home.
“Employees should not be asked to take unpaid leave during the period of self-isolation. Employees can return to the workplace when they test negative on ART after 72 hours,” added the opinion.
Employers should also not require such workers to report to the workplace even if they are physically well.
This guideline follows the multi-ministerial COVID-19 working group’s change in approach to the management of people who test positive for ART but who have no obvious symptoms.
As announced on September 17, these people are advised to self-isolate and monitor their health at home, instead of rushing to the nearest clinic or general hospital, which can risk exposure to other infections.
“This is a risk-calibrated approach that will allow Singapore to focus the use of primary care and other health resources on COVID-19 patients at higher risk of becoming seriously ill,” stated the notice.
MOM added that most workers do not need to undergo a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test after getting the first positive ART result.
“After 72 hours of self-isolation, the employee must repeat the ART. If the result is negative, the employee can return to work and daily activities.
“However, if the result is positive, the employee should continue to self-isolate and take another ART every 24 hours until the employee receives a negative result.”