Since Monday, employers have to report to the Manpower Ministry (MOM) if their workers cannot work for more than three days due to the same injury, even if these were not consecutive days.

This is to discourage errant employers from breaking up the medical leave of injured workers to avoid reporting incidents, said the ministry in a media release yesterday.

The rule change was first announced in July last year. Public consultations were held on the proposed amendments last September, and MOM said that there was "a consensus supporting the amendments".

Previously, employers only had to report work-related accidents that resulted in medical leave of more than three consecutive days. But MOM received industry feedback that employers were dodging the requirement by breaking up medical leave unnecessarily.

It said such a practice could "affect employees' recovery process" and "obscure the actual severity of the accidents that have occurred". Accidents covered by this rule must be reported by employers within 10 calendar days from the fourth day of medical leave.

Employers also have to report all work-related traffic accidents involving their workers to the Commissioner for Workplace Safety and Health.

MOM said that this will "emphasise the employer's duty under the Workplace Safety and Health Act to manage traffic safety and better track work-related traffic accidents".

The maximum penalty for failing to make an incident report as required by law is a fine of $5,000 for a first-time offence and a $10,000 fine and a six-month jail term for subsequent offences.