There was a time when we envied friends or co-workers who could work from the comfort of their own home, probably envisioning this to some extent:
Now though, the novelty of WFH arrangements might have faded away too quickly for some of us, leaving us facing the reality of things like how the neighbour’s dog just can’t stay quiet whenever someone walks past or making sure your room is clear every time you join a Zoom meeting.
On a more serious note, WFH arrangements do incur their own stressful challenges, and MP Melvin Yong validated that in Parliament while referencing the recent NUHS survey revealing those working from home feel more stressed than frontline workers.
An MP Asks To Add Conditions Caused By Work Stress Into The Workplace Injury Compensation Act
In Monday’s Parliamentary debate, he added that he “hope(s) the government could expand the list of occupational diseases under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) to include mental illnesses related to work stress.”
The WICA covers most employees under a contract, excluding domestic helpers, uniformed personnel, independent contractors and the self-employed. Because you know, you can’t really make claims from yourself.
As long as you were injured or contracted a disease because of your work, regardless of whether you still work for that employer or work flexibly, you can claim compensation.
Even if you somehow injure yourself while working from home, that counts too – as long as it’s work-related.
So no, this won’t count as a work-related injury:
Those covered by the act can claim 3 types of benefits: medical leave wages for working days covered by medical leave, light-duty or hospitalisation leave, medical expenses including hospital bills, or a lump sum compensation for current incapacity, permanent incapacity or death.
Disconnecting after work hours
MP Yong also highlighted France’s El Khomri law allowing employees to negotiate answering work calls and emails after work hours.
Seeing how countries such as Italy and Philippines have also adopted similar legislation, he suggested if it is time for Singapore to do so too to prevent burnout – which most of us would probably eagerly embrace at this point.
Especially when it looks like no one will probably be making any travel plans anytime soon this year.
But if you’re in need of a break, why not check out what staycations are available in Singapore for a discount.