5 Major Types of Leave Entitlements for Employees in Singapore

HR Leave

5 Major Types of Leave Entitlements for Employees in Singapore

As a business owner and employer in Singapore, obviously, you have employees who help you run your day-to-day operations to achieve your organizational goals. As such, it is prudent to grant your employees minimum leave entitlements to revitalize themselves and rekindle with their loved ones. Thus, your HR department must be well conversant with the various types of leave that employees are entitled to because an employer that fails to do so may face harsh penalties from the Ministry of Manpower.

There are different types of leave entitlements legally mandated by the government in accordance with the Singapore Employment Act, which covers employment contracts, wages, and benefits.

Who Does the Singapore Employment Act Apply To?

It is important to know that the Singapore Employment Act does not apply to all employees. It only applies to local and foreign employees defined under the Act, which include:

  • Domestic Workers
  • Government Staff
  • Managers & Executives
  • Seamen

The employees can be full-time, part-time, temporary, or contractual, and paid hourly, daily, monthly, or piece-rated. They are entitled to fringe benefits or perks besides their salaries.

Annual Leave                           

Eligibility

If employees have worked for at least 3 months.

Entitlement

The minimum leave days depend on the number of years they have been employed counted from the first day of work as per the contractual agreement.

The 1st year accumulates a minimum of 7 days, with 1 additional day from the 2nd year onwards. However, the maximum is 14 days from the 8th year and beyond.

Annual leave taken on a half-working day is counted as 1 day’s leave.

Prorated Annual Leave

Annual leave is accrued on a pro-rata basis, meaning, if you work for more than 3 months and less than one full year, the number of days will be rounded down based on the number of full months you have worked whether you are on probation or not.  

Formula for pro-rated annual leave: (Number of completed months of service ÷ 12 months) × Number of days of annual leave entitlement

Unless stated in the employment contract, the employee’s annual leave will be forfeited:

  • In case of dismissal for gross misconduct;
  • If the leave days are not used up within 12 months of continuous service; and
  • In case of absenteeism without permission for over 20% of working days in the month.

Sick Leave

Eligibility

Employees are eligible for paid outpatient sick leave and paid hospitalization if they have worked for at least 3 months.

For paid outpatient sick leave, employees must be certified to be unfit for work by a medical practitioner registered under the Medical Registration Act or Dental Registration Act.

For paid hospitalisation leave, employees must be deemed to require hospital care by a doctor in an approved hospital.

Paid hospitalisation leave is not an extension of paid outpatient sick leave.

Entitlement

The employees’ sick leave entitlements are as follows.

If employees have worked:

  • For 6 months or more, the full annual entitlement is 14 days sick leave, and 60 days hospitalization leave (inclusive of the 14 days).
  • Between 5 months and 6 months, the annual entitlement is 11 days sick leave, and 45 days hospitalization leave (inclusive of the 11 days).
  • Between 4 months and 5 months, the annual entitlement is 8 days sick leave, and 30 days hospitalization leave (inclusive of the 8 days).
  • Between 3 months and 4 months, their annual entitlement is 5 days sick leave, and 15 days hospitalization leave (inclusive of the 5 days).

Employees are required to inform their employer within 48 hours if they are unable to report for work, and produce a medical certificate from the company doctor, government doctor, or doctor from an approved hospital upon resumption.

Maternity Leave

Eligibility and Entitlement

All working mothers are entitled to 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) if:

  • The child is a Singapore citizen.
  • They are legally married to the child’s father.
  • My child is born on or after 1 January 2017.
  • They have worked for at least 3 continuous months before childbirth.

All working mothers are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave if they have worked for at least 3 continuous months before childbirth and satisfy any one or more of the above statements.

During the leave period, employees must receive their usual monthly salary, but employers can claim reimbursement from the Government as follows:

  • 1st and 2nd births, first 8 weeks;
  • 3rd and subsequent children: All 16 weeks.

Besides maternity leave, eligible working mothers with children under 7 years of age are entitled to 6 days childcare leave annually, if they have worked for more than 3 months.

Paternity Leave

Eligibility

All working fathers are entitled to Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) if:

  • The child is a Singapore citizen.
  • They had been legally married to the child’s mother between conception and birth.
  • They have worked for at least 3 continuous months before childbirth.

Adoptive fathers are also entitled to Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) if:

  • The child is a Singapore citizen.
  • They have worked for at least 3 continuous months before childbirth.

Entitlement

2 weeks of GPPL if you work 7 days a week, and 12 days of GPPL if you work 6 days a week.

Each week is capped at $2,500 plus CPF.

Depending on the wife’s consent, a working father can apply to share up to 4 weeks of the 16-week GPML with the spouse.

Adoption Leave

Eligibility

Only adoptive mothers are eligible for 12 weeks of paid adoption leave to take care of their adopted infants if they have worked for their employers for more than 3 months.

The adopted child must be aged 12 months or less when you intended to adopt him/her, and a Singapore citizen. If he/she is a foreigner, one of the adoptive parents must be a Singapore citizen.

Entitlement

If the formal intent to adopt is:

  • Before 1 July 2017, the employee is entitled to 4 weeks, capped at $10,000, including Central Provident Fund (CPF).
  • On or after 1 July 2017, the employee is entitled to 12 weeks for mothers, capped at $10,000 per every 4-week leave taken, including CPF.

Employees can start the adoption leave from their formal intent to adopt because it must be exhausted before the child’s first birthday.

During the leave period, employees must receive their usual monthly salary, but employers can claim reimbursement from the Government including CPF as follows:

  • 1st and 2nd children: up to $20,000;
  • 3rd and subsequent children: up to $30,000.

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