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Singapore Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Annual Leave, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on February 12, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Singapore

Vacation Quota (Annual Leave)

The legal minimum is 7 days, but it increases by 1 day each year.

Employees in Singapore are entitled to at least 7 days of vacation after 12 months (a full year) of service at the employer. However, they are provided with 1 additional day of annual leave for each following year of continuous service. This entitlement increases until they reach a maximum of 14 days of vacation (after 8 years of service). Despite this legal minimum, many employers in Singapore offer 14 days of vacation after the first year of employment.

Eligibility and Accrual

As aforementioned, employees become eligible for full annual leave entitlement 12 months after they are hired. However, employees become eligible for partial annual leave after the first 3 months of employment; their vacation leave is prorated until 12 months.

Carry Over

The employer has to provide its employees with their vacation days within 12 months after completing each year of service. An employee must take it in this same period, and if he or she does not take it by the end of that period, these vacation days will be lost.

Payment of Unused Vacation on Termination

If an employee is fired (for reasons other than unacceptable or improper behavior) and still has unused vacation days, an employer is required to cash out an employee’s full daily pay for each day of unused leave.

Sick Leave in Singapore

Up to 14 days for common diseases and 60 days for hospitalization.

Employees in Singapore receive paid sick days as determined by Singapore’s leave laws:

  • 14 days per year for common diseases and non-hospitalized health requirements;

  • 60 days per year for medical conditions requiring hospitalization.

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Eligibility

An employee becomes eligible for this full paid sick entitlement after 6 months of continuous service at the employer. However, employees become eligible for (prorated) part of this entitlement after the first 3 months of work in the company.

Paid Sick Leave During the Waiting Period

Starting from 3 months up to 6 months, employees are eligible for paid sick days, depending on the duration of their employment.

Therefore, paid sick leave is prorated based on the exact number of months of service:

  • 3 months of service: 5 days for common diseases, 15 days for hospitalization,
  • 4 months of service: 8 days for common diseases, 30 days for hospitalization,
  • 5 months of service: 11 days for common diseases, 45 days for hospitalization.

After the 6th month and thereafter, an employee may take the full 14 + 60 days of paid sick leave.

Notifying the Employer

An employee must be certified to be incapable of work by a registered medical practitioner in order to qualify for sick leave. The Medical Registration Act or Dental Registration Act determines these official medical practitioners.

Furthermore, an employee must notify their employer as soon as practicable about the absence, at the latest within 48 hours. A medical certificate may be submitted upon the employee’s return to work.

Payout of Sick Leave

An employee continues to receive his/her full salary while on sick leave. The employer is responsible for paying for this.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Singapore

16 weeks

A pregnant female employee in Singapore receives 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave.

Maternity leave must be taken as follows:

  • 4 weeks of prenatal leave;
  • 8 months of postnatal leave.

The employee has the flexibility to use the remaining 4 weeks of maternity leave as they wish. This also includes the option of sharing these 4 weeks with their legal spouse.

Eligibility

To be eligible for full maternity benefits, an expectant mother must be:

  • Working at least 3 months before the expected birth of a child;
  • A newborn is going to be a citizen of Singapore.

If any of these two conditions are not met, the maternity leave is 12 weeks.

Payout

During maternity leave, an employee receives her full salary. For the first eight weeks, the employer will cover this pay. The government pays for the subsequent 8 weeks, with a cap on the amount set each year. This rule applies to the first and second infants.

For the birth of a third child or any subsequent child, all 16 weeks are paid by the government.

Paternity Leave in Singapore

2 weeks

A father is entitled to 2 weeks of compulsory paid paternity leave. This leave must be used entirely during the 16 weeks of compulsory maternity leave.

To be eligible for paternity leave, an employee must have at least 3 months of service at the company. A father of an adopted child may also have the right to paid paternity leave, provided that he has met certain conditions.

Payout

Up to a predetermined cap that the officials determine, the government pays the full amount of an employee’s regular salary.

Parental Leave in Singapore

There is no parental leave currently mandated by Singapore leave law. However, as mentioned in the provisions about maternity leave, up to 4 weeks can be transferred from a mother to a father.

Bereavement Leave in Singapore

Not required by law, but usually offered in most companies.

Although bereavement leave is not required by law, most employers in Singapore provide their employees with 2 to 3 days of paid leave when there is an unfortunate event of death in the family. The exact number of days offered for bereavement leave is specified in an employment contract. Some employers might demand a death certificate to provide this leave to their employees.

Jury Duty Leave in Singapore

There is no legal definition of jury duty leave.

Military Leave in Singapore

Required by law.

Reservist leave is required by law, and it is allocated each year to allow employees the chance to participate in the military reserve forces. This leave is compensated. Employees must notify their employers immediately upon receiving the official call from the government. For the timeframe that the military authorities specify, both full-time and part-time employees are eligible for this entitlement.

Voting Leave in Singapore

Required by law.

Voting day in Singapore is treated as a public holiday, meaning employers must grant their employees paid leave on this day, similar to other public holidays.

Marriage Leave in Singapore

5 days

Employees are entitled to 5 days of marriage leave at the time of their own wedding.

Public Holidays in Singapore for 2024

11 public holidays

Generally, there are 11 public holidays in Singapore.

Employees have the right to receive fully paid leave for public holidays during their employment, with the following conditions specified by Singapore’s leave law:

  • Employers and employees can mutually agree to switch any public holiday for another day;
  • Should a public holiday occur on an employee’s day off, the next business day becomes paid leave;
  • If a holiday falls on a day that is not a working day for the employee (as specified in their employment contract), the employer has the choice of paying the employee their regular rate of pay for that day or giving them time off in lieu of the holiday (a substitute day off).
A complete list of official holidays celebrated in Singapore:
Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
February 10, 11, & 12 Chinese New Year
March 29 Good Friday
April 10 Hari Raya Puasa
May 1 Labor Day
May 22 Vesak Day
Jun 17 Hari Raya Haji
August 9 National Day
October 31 Deepavali
December 25 Christmas

Sources for Singapore Leave Laws

  1. Local Laws & Regulations in Singapore, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/singapore

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Singapore, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/singapore/

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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