The relevant provision in the Employment Act 1955 (“EA 1955“) governing sick leave can be found in Section 60F of the EA 1955.
The following is Section 60F of the EA 1955, as amended by the Employment (Amendment) Act 2021 (with the amendments in red):
60F. (1) An employee shall, after examination at the expense of the employer—
(a) by a registered medical practitioner duly appointed by the employer; or
(b) if no such medical practitioner is appointed or, if having regard to the nature or circumstances of the illness, the services of the medical practitioner so appointed are not obtainable within a reasonable time or distance, by any other registered medical practitioner or by a medical officer,
be entitled to paid sick leave,—
(aa) where no hospitalization is necessary,—
(i) of fourteen days in the aggregate in each calendar year if the employee has been employed for less than two years;
(ii) of eighteen days in the aggregate in each calendar year if the employee has been employed for two years or more but less than five years;
(iii) of twenty-two days in the aggregate in each calendar year if the employee has been employed for five years or more; or
(bb) of sixty days in the aggregate in each calendar year if hospitalization is necessary, as may be certified by such registered medical practitioner or medical officer:
Provided that the total number of days of paid sick leave in a calender year which an employee is entitled to under this section shall be sixty days in the aggregate; And Provided further that if an employee is certified by such registered medical practitioner or medical officer to be ill enough to need to be hospitalized but is not hospitalized for any reason whatsoever, the employee shall be deemed to be hospitalized for the purposes of this section.
(1A) An employee shall also be entitled to paid sick leave under paragraphs (1)(aa) and (bb) after examination by a dental surgeon as defined in the Dental Act 1971 [Act 51]:
Provided that the entitlement for such sick leave shall be inclusive of the number of days provided for under paragraphs (1)(aa) and (bb).
(2) An employee who absents himself on sick leave—
(a) which is not certified by a registered medical practitioner or a medical officer as provided under subsection (1) or a dental surgeon as provided under subsection (1A); or
(b) which is certified by such registered medical practitioner or medical officer or dental surgeon, but without informing or attempting to inform his employer of such sick leave within forty-eight hours of the commencement thereof,
shall be deemed to absent himself from work without the permission of his employer and without reasonable excuse for the days on which he is so absent from work.
(3) The employer shall pay the employee his ordinary rate of pay for every day of such sick leave, and an employee on a monthly rate of pay shall be deemed to have received his sick leave pay if he receives from his employer his monthly wages, without abatement in respect of the days on which he was on sick leave, for the month during which he was on such sick leave.
(4) No employee shall be entitled to paid sick leave for the period during which the employee is entitled to maternity allowance under Part IX, or for any period during which he is receiving any compensation for disablement under the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1952 [Act 273], or any periodical payments for temporary disablement under the Employees Social Security Act 1969 [Act 4].”
The amendments, in effect, mean that employees will be entitled to 14/18/22 days of paid sick leave (where hospitalisation is not necessary) as well as 60 days of paid sick leave (where hospitalisation is necessary).
At the time of writing, only employees covered by the scope of the Employment Act 1955 are entitled to sick leave in the above manner.
Having said that, the Human Resources Minister has indicated that he will be issuing an order to expand the scope of the Employment Act 1955 to cover all employees regardless of wages.
In the event such a ministerial order is issued, all employees (regardless of wages) will be entitled to sick leave in the above manner.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended for information and academic discussion only and should not be construed as legal advice on a specific set of facts or circumstances. Should you require legal assistance, you may contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via WhatsApp/telephone call (+6011-5672 7813).