As we approach the final days of the year 2023, which will conclude in a few weeks, workers are likely already planning ahead for extended breaks around public holidays. At the same time, it is also a unique opportunity for employers to proactively reward and motivate their workforce through extended breaks and to create a supportive work environment.
Public Holidays & School Holidays For Extended Break In 2024
In 2024, there will be a total of 12 public holidays, including a day in lieu for Chinese New Year. Additionally, school holidays are crucial in how employees with school-going children plan their time off to get a longer break.
Employees can get a few potential extended weekends by submitting a day or two of additional annual leaves, which fall on Monday or Friday.
New Year’s Day (30 December 2023 to 1 January 2024)- Falls on Monday
A long weekend presents an excellent opportunity for companies to grant a half-day on Friday (29 December 2023) for a year-end company lunch. Alternatively, additional leave on 2 January can offer a refreshing start for employees.
Good Friday (29 March 2024)- Falls on Friday
Companies can leverage the Good Friday holiday on 29 March by organizing company retreats or team-building exercises on the preceding Thursday. This shorter workweek allows employees a longer break.
National Day (9 August 2024)- Falls on Friday
With Singapore’s 59th National Day falling on a Friday, businesses can plan CSR activities on the preceding Thursday (8 August), fostering motivation and a lighter workweek for employees to enjoy the extended break.
On the other hand, businesses that operate in certain sectors, such as F&B and hospitality, may find it difficult to grant days off, even on public holidays when business may be brisk.
According to the Employment Act, if a Public Holiday falls on a rest day, the following working day will be a paid Public Holiday for employees. Typically, Sundays are considered rest days. If a Public Holiday falls on a non-working day, employees will be entitled to another day off or one extra day’s salary in lieu of the public holiday. For those of us who work 5-day work weeks, Saturdays are considered non-working days.
Employees covered under Part IV of the Employment Act should be paid one extra day (on top of the paid public holiday) for working on a public holiday. This includes both part-time and full-time employees.
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