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Covid-19 vaccinators, swabbers among public service workers to be protected under harassment law

SINGAPORE — From next Wednesday (July 7), workers administering Covid-19 vaccine shots and swab tests as well as those answering 995 emergency calls will be given more protection against abuse or harassment in the course of their duties.

Under the law, anyone who abuses, harasses or doxxes another person, including public service workers, is liable for a jail term of up to six months or a fine of up to S$5,000, or both.

Under the law, anyone who abuses, harasses or doxxes another person, including public service workers, is liable for a jail term of up to six months or a fine of up to S$5,000, or both.

SINGAPORE — From next Wednesday (July 7), workers administering Covid-19 vaccine shots and swab tests as well as those answering 995 emergency calls will be given more protection against abuse or harassment in the course of their duties.

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that these persons would be included as public service workers under the Protection from Harassment (Public Service Worker) Order.

This order falls under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Under the Act, anyone who abuses, harasses or doxxes another person is liable for a jail term of up to six months or a fine of up to S$5,000, or both. 

Doxxing is the act of publishing an individual’s personal information, such as photos and contact details, with a view to harassing that person.

Where the victim is a public servant or public service worker on duty, an offender could be jailed for up to 12 months or fined up to S$5,000, or given both penalties.

At present, public-facing workers delivering services essential to the public’s well-being or the proper functioning of the country are considered public service workers. 

They include healthcare professionals in public healthcare institutions, educators in public schools and public sanitation workers with town councils.

Other additions to the list of public service workers who will be protected under the Protection from Harassment Act include: 

  • Private-hire car drivers, excluding those offering carpooling services 

  • Workers in crisis shelters and welfare homes

  • Blood donation workers

  • Workers caring for Covid-19 patients in private hospitals, including administrative workers

  • Workers administering healthcare services to those quarantined for Covid-19 who are under contracts with the Ministry of Health 

  • Workers handling queries from the public about social services who are under contracts with the Government

  • Temperature screeners and workers handling access control at all government facilities and locales listed in the Protection from Harassment (Public Service Worker) Order

MHA said that this latest move came after consultations with other government ministries and agencies. 

It is the first review of the order since its introduction in 2014.

“The law recognises the importance of protecting public servants and public service workers from harassment because of the critical roles they play,” the ministry said.

Related topics

public service POHA MHA swab vaccination private-hire car drivers

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