In Singapore, the Employment Act lists all statutory leaves that employees here are entitled to receive each year. There are the minimum requirements, and businesses can choose to provide more if they wish to.
Beyond just what’s required, many employers also provide non-statutory leaves to their employees. According to MOM’s Conditions of Employment 2018 report, 96% of employers in Singapore are providing at least one type of non-statutory leave. Interestingly, the report also highlighted that the number of non-statutory leaves offered to an employee ranks 5th highest on the impact on resignation rates.
We’ve compiled a list of the types of leaves (statutory and non-statutory), as well as their eligibility and minimum requirements (if applicable).
Statutory Leaves In Singapore That Are Mandated By The Government:
#1 Annual Leave
Under the Employment Act, employees are entitled to paid annual leave if they have worked for at least 3 months. All employees are entitled to a minimum of 7 days of annual leave per year.
The number of annual leaves an employee gets must also increase one day for each year of service until a maximum of 14 days of annual leaves a year.
|Years Worked In Company||Entitled Days Of Annual Leaves|
|8 and beyond||14|
Of course, employers can (and many do) give more than the minimum 7 to 14 days of annual leave to their workers.
#2 Public Holidays (PH) and Off-in-Lieu
Employees in Singapore are entitled to 11 paid public holidays (PH) per year.
Should businesses require your employees to work on a PH, you are required to pay them an additional day of salary or grant them an off-in-lieu.
#3 Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML)
Working mothers are entitled to up to 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML). Eligibility requirements include employees having worked with your company for at least 3 months.
For employees having their first and second children, employer co-fund the first 8 weeks of maternity leave while the government covers the remaining 8 weeks. For a female employee’s third and subsequent child, the government will pay for the full 16-week duration of the maternity leave.
#4 Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)
In efforts to get fathers to be more involved in raising children, working dads are entitled to 2 weeks of Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL).
Eligibility requirements include being legally married to your child’s mother between conception and birth and having worked with your company for at least 3 months.
GPPL is capped at $2,500 per week, including CPF contributions.
#5 Shared Parental Leave (SPL)
Shared Parental Leave (SPL) enables working dads to share up to 4 weeks of his wife’s 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave, subjected to agreement by his wife. There isn’t a fixed arrangement on how working father should take their SPL so companies are encouraged to work out a mutual agreement with their employees.
#6 Government Paid Adoption Leave
Adoption leave entitles working mothers to 12 weeks of paid adoption leave to bond with and care for their adopted infants.
To be eligible for adoption leave, your employee’s adopted child must be less than 12 months old when she made her formal intent to adopt. The adoption order also has to be passed within a year from the formal intent to adopt.
Your employee or their spouse also has to be a Singapore citizen, and the child must be a Singapore citizenor become a Singapore citizen within 6 months of the adoption.
Similar to most other leave entitlements, employees must have also worked for your company for a continuous period for at least 3 months before they made their formal intent to adopt.
Capped at $10,000 per every 4-week leave taken, including CPF, adoption leave must be used before the adoptive child turns 1. For first and second adopted children, employers will co-pay the first month while the government covers the second and third month.
For employees who adopt more than 2 children, the government will pay for the entire 3-months duration of their adoption leave from their third and subsequent adoptive child.Do note that reimbursement will be capped at $20,000 for the first and second children, and $30,000 for the third and subsequent children, including CPF.
Up to 4 weeks of Government Paid Adoption leave can also be shared with adoptive fathers.
#7 Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL)
Employees who are parents with Singaporean children below the age of 7 are entitled to 6 days of Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) per parent per year. Any unused leave from one year cannot be carried forward to the next annual year.
The total number of GPCL that a parent may receive is capped at 42 days (6 days a year x 7 years).
As with majority of employment entitlements, eligibility requirements include being employed (for employees) or being engaged in your work (for those who are self-employed) for at least 3 continuous months.
GCPL payouts are capped at $500 per day, including CPF. Employers have to pay for the first 3 days of the GPCL, while the government will only provide compensation for the remaining 3 days.
#8 Extended Childcare Leave (ECL)
Parents who do not consume their full 42 days of Government Paid Childcare Leave entitlement can still draw on this scheme for up to 2 days of Extended Childcare Leave (ECL) each year from when their children are in primary school – between age 7 and 12 years.
When parents draw on the Extended Childcare Leave, both days will be paid for by the government. This is also capped at $500 per day, including CPF.
#9 Unpaid Infant Care Leave
If your child is a Singapore citizen and below the age of 2, you are entitled to 6 days per year of unpaid infant care leave, in addition to the paid childcare leave you’re eligible for.
#10 Outpatient Sick Leave and Hospitalisation Leave
Employees are entitled to up to 14 days of paid outpatient sick leave and up to 60 days for paid hospitalisation leave.
Employees will have to provide their employer with a Medical Certificate (MC) to quality for paid sick leave. To qualify for paid hospitalisation leave, employees are required to have gone for a day surgery or have been warded in the hospital. Sick leave or hospitalisation leave are not for cosmetic procedures.
#11 National Service Leave
Under section 23 in the Enlistment Act, it is stated that employers are obligated to grant their employees a paid leave of absence when they are called to perform NS duties.
In the case for full-time National Service, section 21 of the Enlistment Act further states that employers are required to arrange for an employee’s to return to work as soon as they complete training, if they have worked with the company for at least 6 months.
For duties pertaining to reservist or voluntary service, employers are encouraged to opt for the DIRECT scheme – to help employees claim Make-Up Pay, and to continue paying their salaries as usual.
Types Of Non-Statutory Leaves Offered By Singapore Companies:
#12 Unpaid Leave
Unpaid leave is a leave of absence without pay granted by the employer at the request of their employee. As it is not mandated by the government, there isn’t a maximum number of days of unpaid leave that should be given.
Usually offered to long-serving employees (more than 5 years), a sabbatical provides an extended period of leave that’s usually between 2 months to a year. While the extent differs between companies, the reason is to give good employees time-off to pursue their interest and passion before rejoining the business when they’re ready.
#14 Compassionate/Bereavement Leave
It is common practice for most companies to provide employees with 2 to 3 days of paid compassionate leave to attend or prepare for the funeral of immediate family members.
#15 Marriage Leave
Another common practice for most companies is to offer 2-3 days of paid marriage leave. Depending on how you want to control the system, you may ask for employees to provide their Marriage Certificate. This will typically be taken along with annual leaves for a honeymoon (in most other years).
#16 Study/Exam Leave
For part-time students, juggling work and studies is no easy feat – especially when exams are nearing. Many companies are also providing their employees 2-3 days or even 1 to 2 weeks to prepare for and take their papers.
This can be win-win as employees upgrade themselves while in your employment.
#17 Birthday Leave
Most, if not all employees wouldn’t want to work on their birthday. Many companies understand this and do grant employees 1 day of paid birthday leave. Since you’re already providing a leave that isn’t mandated by the government, being flexible to allow employees to use it within a space of time around their birthdays instead of on the day itself only can make sense.
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