Six Festive Dates To Give Your Employees An Extended Break During Singapore Public And School Holidays 2024 (And Three To Avoid)

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s important for companies to create and support a work environment that supports work-life balance for their employees.

While the Employment Act outlines the minimum annual leave entitlement based on years of service, companies can choose to go beyond these guidelines. In addition to annual leave, public holidays are also instrumental in sustaining a healthy work-life balance.

As we approach 2024, employees might be strategically planning their extended breaks around the upcoming public holidays. However, it also presents employers with a unique opportunity to proactively reward their staff with an extended break on these dates, eliminating the luck-of-the-draw scenario (i.e., no leave approval required) and fostering a harmonious work environment, which can contribute to higher motivation and retention of staff.         

Here are some suggestions on how employers can take advantage of the Singapore public and school holidays in 2024 to give their employees an extended break while achieving the company’s objectives.

Singapore Public Holidays 2024   

There are 12 days of public holidays in 2024, including one day (13 Feb) in lieu of the Public Holiday (CNY – 12 Feb), which falls on a Sunday. The list is as follows:  

Singapore School Holidays 2024

The Singapore school holidays are another aspect that impacts how employees take into consideration their leave applications.

Month HolidayDays 
Feb Chinese New Year 13 Feb – Tue 
(School Holidays)
MarchTerm 1 School Holidays For (MK, Primary, Secondary, & Post-Secondary)09 Mar – 17 Mar
MayTerm 2 School Holidays For (MK, Primary, Secondary, & Post-Secondary)25 May – 23 Jun
JuneYouth Day01 Jul – Monday
(School Holidays) 
AugustTeacher’s Day30 Aug – Friday
AugustTerm 3 School Holidays For (MK, Primary, Secondary, & Post-Secondary)31 Aug – 08 Sep
Oct Children’s Day (MK, Primary)04 Oct – Friday
NovTerm 4 School Holidays For (MK, Primary, Secondary)16 Nov – 31 Dec
NovTerm 4 School Holidays For (Post Secondary Year 1)23 Nov – 31 Dec
NovTerm 4 School Holidays For (Post Secondary Year 2)30 Nov – 31 Dec

Read Also: Singapore Business Owner’s Guide To Key Dates and Holidays In 2023 When To Give (Or Take) Annual Leave For Extended Holiday Break

In 2024, there will be a total of 10 potential extended weekends, providing employees with the opportunity to enjoy a longer break by utilising one or two additional days of annual leave on each occasion.

These blocks of dates also provide employers with an opportunity to give their staff an extended break without having their staff apply for leave. Employers could organise company retreats, team-bonding sessions, or corporate social responsibility (CSR) events as half-day sessions on the eve of these long weekends. This could not only give an opportunity for team building and foster a sense of camaraderie but also a more relaxed and shorter workday, just before the long weekend break.

Additionally, employers could also consider extending the provision of annual leave, for example, as a mental wellness day at a company level on some of these long weekends to give all their staff an extended break.

Possible Dates For Extended Breaks In 2024:

Here are some suggestions on when and how companies can give an extended break on these weekend holidays.

#1 New Year’s Day (30 December 2023 to 1 January 2024)

  • The first long weekend comes towards the end of 2023 and the start of 2024, with 1 January 2024 (Monday) being the first public holiday.
  • Consider granting a half day on Friday (29 December 2023) as a year-end company lunch.
  • Alternatively, consider offering additional leave on 2 January. It could benefit parents with young school-going children to see them off on their first day of school. As for the others (i.e., partygoers), it gives them one more day to get into the groove of 2024.

#2 Good Friday (29 March 2024)

  • Good Friday falls on 29 March (Friday), giving another opportunity for employees to take a long weekend holiday.
  • Companies could consider organising company retreats or team-building exercises (which are usually done in the first half of the year) on 28 March (Thursday).
  • The shorter workweek could give employees a longer break away from work while still achieving the company’s objectives to build a camaraderie spirit.

#3 National Day (9 August 2024)

  • Singapore’s 59th National Day falls on a Friday in 2024.
  • It could be a good time for companies to organise their CSR activities for the community or country on 8 August (Thursday). This could give staff a better sense of motivation and a lighter workweek so they can enjoy the long weekend.    

#4 Teacher’s Day (30 August 2024)

  • Teacher’s Day on 30 August (Friday) is a scheduled school holiday and not a gazette public holiday.
  • Companies may consider granting annual leave to all staff or holding their family day event on this date. It would benefit parents with children, as they could spend more family time together while also enjoying a longer weekend break. 

#5 Children’s Day (4 October 2024)

  • The Children’s Day on 4 October (Friday) is another scheduled school holiday and is also not a gazette public holiday. However, students under the age of 12 (or at the MK and primary school levels) are the only ones given this holiday.
  • This could be another day that companies could consider granting annual leave to all staff or organising their family day event on this date.
  • Alternatively, companies could also consider having their Take-Your-Child-To-Work-Day on this date to allow parents of young children to follow them (and spend time) at their workplace.

#6 Deepavali (31 October 2024)

  • The Hindu festival of Deepavali falls on 31 October (Thursday) and is the only public holiday that is on a Thursday.
  • While the majority of the company’s workforce may not celebrate Deepavali, it is a good opportunity to enjoy a long 4-day weekend. Hence, it stands to reason that many may wish to take their annual leave on the following day, 1 November (Friday).  
  • Companies that wish to grant an extra day of leave to their staff may consider this date as it would be beneficial to not only those who observe the festive tradition but also everyone else to go on an extended break.

Read Also: Return Of The Long Weekends: What Employers And Employees Need To Know About Public Holidays That Fall On The Weekends

Possible Dates To Avoid For Extended Breaks In 2024:

Here are some possible holiday dates to avoid giving employees an extended break.

#1 Hari Raya Puasa (10 April 2024)

  • Hari Raya Puasa, which falls on 10 April (Wednesday), is the celebration at the end of the Ramadan month of fasting.
  • Companies may wish to avoid organising any company event prior to Hari Raya Puasa as Muslim staff may be fasting.
  • Moreover, some Muslim staff may also wish to rest and recuperate after the fasting period, making any company event on the following days in the same week less than ideal.

#2 Labour Day (1 May 2024)

  • Labour Day, which is celebrated on the 1st of May every year, falls on a Wednesday in 2024.
  • Given that the public holiday is in mid-week, it may not be very suitable for taking a long weekend, which requires two days of annual leave.
  • Instead, companies could choose to organise their company retreat or team bonding event one day prior or one day after 1 May. This could not only be opportune time to show appreciation to staff but also give them a better sense (or longer feeling) of a break with a shorter workweek.

#3 Christmas Day (25 December 2024)

  • Christmas, which falls on a Wednesday, is the time of year that most companies organise get-togethers or company parties.
  • Surprisingly, granting additional leave just before or after Christmas Day may not be the most strategic move.
  • The reason is to maximise attendance at these company events, especially considering that some employees might already have scheduled block leave in December.
  • Additionally, given the public holiday’s mid-week placement, granting an additional leave during this time period may not offer the same benefits for most staff in terms of an extended long weekend.

Read Also: Half Days On Public Holiday Eves, Block Leave, Mental Health Day Off: 10 Leave Practices That Are Not Statutory Entitlements And Why Do Companies Implement Them

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