Parliament: Close to 2,000 injured workers have joined scheme to help them return to work

SINGAPORE – As of the end of last year, 1,922 injured workers have participated in the Return to Work programme, which was introduced in 2017.

The scheme helps employers make adjustments to workplaces and jobs to facilitate the rehabilitation of injured workers, and helps workers recover and return to work as soon as possible, such as by conducting physiotherapy.

Seven public hospitals, which deploy trained coordinators to help injured workers, are involved in the scheme.

About 95 per cent of participants have been successfully placed back to work, an improvement from a rate of around 75 per cent before the programme was introduced, Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said in Parliament on Tuesday (April 7).

He was responding to Mr Melvin Yong (Tanjong Pagar GRC), who had asked for an update on the scheme.

Workers have also given positive feedback about the programme, said Mr Zaqy.

“Some workers said their supervisors are more supportive after the hospital’s Return to Work coordinator explained how the worker can remain productive post-injury,” he said.

Asked by Mr Yong if there were instances when workers or employers declined to sign up for the programme after being approached, Mr Zaqy said that about 64 per cent of eligible injured workers had participated in the scheme.

Others did not participate as they had either resigned after their injury or had been dismissed by their employer.

“We expect the participation rate to improve as more hospitals gain more experience with the Return to Work programme… (the coordinators) should be better able to convince workers and employers that there is hope for restoring work ability,” said Mr Zaqy.

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