Great Eastern has announced that it is offering additional benefits to all employees who take COVID-19 vaccinations. They will be entitled to take the day off for each vaccination appointment, and allowed to claim reimbursement for private taxi or Grab transport to and from the vaccination clinics. In addition, if employees develop side effects from the vaccinations, they will be granted two days' medical leave without the need to provide a medical certificate, and may claim reimbursement of medical fees for treating any side effects.
The insurer is also offering cash benefits to any of its employees and their immediate family members who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 vaccinations. The coverage will be available until the end of 2021 or its fund for the benefits runs out, whichever is earlier.
Great Eastern's announcement followed shortly after OCBC Bank released a statement earlier this month that it would be offering benefits to employees in Singapore who take the vaccination—a day off on the vaccination date, private taxi reimbursement, and the option to work from home for one week after vaccination, along with reimbursement for medical fees if they develop side effects. The bank also said it is planning to extend the benefits to employees in other countries once the vaccine becomes available there.
Vaccination in Singapore has been available since late December and is fully voluntary, with priority given to front-line medical personnel and the elderly. However, many companies are strongly encouraging their employees to get vaccinated, especially those who deal extensively with the public.