HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Employee on Long Term Illness


Hi HR practitioners,

Could you please advise what would be the best practice for an employer to manage an employee with long-term illness?

The employee has been in and out for hospitalization leave and each hospitalization for at least a few months. The employee will take unpaid leave if he/she has fully utilized his/her hospitalization leave. This has caused extensive disruption to the co-workers as well as business productivity.

The company would like to help the employee as much as we can. However, this cannot be long run as the business will still have to continue. Please let us know how can we solve this issue amicably between the employee and the company.

Many thanks.




If the illness contracted was during his employment with the company then most companies would have a policy on a 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay then on no pay and subsequently to determine if he is fit to return to work or instead be medically board out.




Business owners take care of workers, and workers will work hard with their lives. Employ one more to take care of the jobs. These are watched by the rest of the workers and it creates company culture and value.




You may obtain a doctor's certification to medically board out the employee. Alternatively, the employer can terminate the employee due to excessive no pay leave (frustration of contract).




According to our practice (not in Singapore), maternity leave is allowed for 6 months, paternity leave is allowed for 15 days, medical leave is allowed for 30 days in accordance with an endorsement of Social Security Board (Authority). Annual leave is allowed for 10 days. Unpaid leave is allowed for 10 days.

If the employee takes medical leave more than 40 days, the employee will be terminated. If the employee appeals to take medical leave more than 40 days, we accept her resignation and once he/she fits to resume duty, it is eligible to apply for the job again with us.




We do have a Long Term Illness Plan for staff who during his term of employment with the association contracted a critical/terminal illness as certified by a registered medical practitioner shall be granted Long Term Illness Leave (LTI) as follows:

- six months LTI with full pay
- six months LTI with half pay if the employee is still unfit for work at the end of the initial six months;
- six months no pay leave if the condition persists

At the end of the period of the no pay leave, should the employee still be certified unfit by a medical practitioner, the employee shall be boarded out on medical grounds. We do have ex-gratia payment for medical boarded out staff.

With the scheme, staff are able to go for their treatment without causing disruption to business productivity as employer are able to hire temp staff to cover the job.



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