8 leave entitlements in Singapore that you should know
Understanding and managing different leave types in Singapore can be a daunting task for both employees and employers. To simplify this process, we've curated a concise yet comprehensive guide covering all the essential leaves that are mandated by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Whether you're an employee seeking to understand your rights or an employer striving to implement fair and supportive policies, this guide is your starting point for a well-informed journey through the diverse landscape of leave entitlements.
1. Annual leave entitlement
To qualify for annual leave in Singapore, the employee must work at the company for at least 3 months and can only apply for annual leave after working for 3 months.
The minimum amount of paid annual leave is 7 days during the first year of employment and 1 extra day for each additional year of service, up to a maximum of 14 days.
Year(s) of employment
Minimum paid annual leave entitlement (days)
8 and above
Employers may, of course, provide more annual leaves than the minimum requirement as part of employee benefits.
How to calculate prorated sick and hospitalisation leave?
Can medical appointments be considered sick leave?
What happens if the employee falls sick during annual leave?
Can an employee take sick leave during notice period?
Does sick leave get paid out when an employee resigns?
How to apply for sick leave?
3. Childcare leave entitlement
If an employee has worked at the company for at least 3continuous months and his or her child is under 7 years old, he or she is entitled to childcare leave, depending on whether the child is a Singapore citizen.
Is the child a Singapore citizen?
Number of childcare leave days per year
Maximum childcare leave days
Eligible for Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL)?
Tip: Check out more FAQs on childcare leave to help you create a legally compliant and family-oriented workplace!
Is childcare leave calculated based on the calendar year or work anniversary?
How to pro-rate childcare leave?
Can childcare leave be carried forward?
How can an employee apply for childcare leave?
How much can an employer claim for government-paid childcare leave?
How can an employer claim reimbursement for government-paid childcare leave?
Are Singapore Permanent Residents (PR) eligible for childcare leave?
Can foreigners take childcare leave in Singapore?
Do contract workers get childcare leave?
Can an employee take childcare leave during probation?
Can an employee take childcare leave during the notice period?
What other government-mandated entitlements to childcare leave are there?
How can an employer better support employees who have children?
4. Maternity leave entitlement
Employees who are working mothers may be eligible for either 16 weeks or 12 weeks of maternity leave, depending on them fulfilling certain criteria.
To qualify for the full 16 weeks of maternity leave, an employee must meet the following conditions:
She must have completed at least 3 continuous months of service with the company before her child's birth.
Her child must be a Singapore citizen.
The child must be born or have an estimated delivery date on or after 1 January 2017.
If an employee hasn't worked at the company for at least 3 months, she will only be eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.
If the child is not a Singapore citizen, she will only be eligible for 12 weeks of maternity leave.
If an employee is not lawfully married to the child's father, she will still be eligible for 16 weeks of maternity leave.
Tip: Read more on maternity leave to get ideas on how to best support your employees during their pivotal life events. Some maternity leave FAQs covered include:
When does maternity leave start?
Are weekends counted as maternity leave?
Can maternity leave be taken in parts?
How to calculate maternity leave dates in Singapore?
How can an employee apply for maternity leave?
How much reimbursement will an employer get from government-paid maternity leave?
How can an employer claim for government-paid maternity leave?
Are Singapore Permanent Residents (PR) eligible for maternity leave?
Can foreigners take maternity leave in Singapore?
Do contract, temporary, or part-time workers get maternity leave?
Is termination of employment allowed during maternity leave?
Can an employee resign after returning from maternity leave?
Can an employee resign during maternity leave?
Can an employee take maternity leave during her notice period?
How does an employer support employees who are returning to work after maternity leave?
5. Paternity leave entitlement
Eligible working fathers, including those who are self-employed, are entitled to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave funded by the government.
To qualify for this leave:
His child must hold Singapore citizenship.
He is lawfully married to the child’s mother between conception and birth.
He must have served the company for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of their child.
Here's a guide to help determine the arrangement of paternity leave that employees are entitled to:
2 weeks of Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)
Default, without any mutual agreement
Take 2 continuous weeks within 16 weeks after the birth of the child.
Flexibly, by mutual agreement
Take 2 continuous weeks anytime within 12 months after the birth of the child. Split the 2 weeks into working days and take them in any combination within 12 months after the birth of the child.
Calculating actual leave days
2 weeks x The number of working days in the week (Capped at 6 working days per week). Example: If he works 6 days a week, then he will get 12 days of GPPL.
GPPL will be doubled from 2 to 4 weeks for eligible fathers of children born from 1 January 2024 onwards. Employers can grant the additional 2 weeks of GPPL on a voluntary basis, which will be reimbursed by the government.
How can an employee apply for shared parental leave?
When can an employee apply for shared parental leave?
How can an employer claim government-paid shared parental leave?
How can an employer better support employees who are working parents?
7. Adoption leave entitlement
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) mandates that eligible adoptive mothers, including self-employed individuals, are entitled to 12 weeks of paid adoption leave, capped at $10,000 (including CPF) for every 4-week leave taken.
To qualify for adoption leave in Singapore, an employee should meet the following requirements:
Age of the Adopted Child: Her adopted child is below the age of 12 months at the point of her formal intent to adopt.
For a local child: when she files the court application to adopt.
For a foreign child: when in-principle approval is granted for a Dependant's Pass.
Citizenship of the Adopted Child:
The adopted child is a Singapore citizen.
If the child is a foreigner:
At least one of the adoptive parents must be a Singapore citizen.
The child must acquire Singapore citizenship within 6 months of the adoption.
She must have served the company or been self-employed for a continuous period of at least 3 months immediately before her formal intent to adopt.
This ensures that she has established a work relationship and contributed to the stability of her employment status during the adoption process.
Adoption Order Timeline:
The adoption order must be passed within 1 year from the formal intent to adopt.
This time frame allows for the completion of the adoption process and ensures that the child's legal status is finalised.
Tip: “Adoption leave guide in Singapore” will provide everything you need to know to create a supportive environment for your employees who are adoptive parents, including FAQs such as:
Are part-time employees entitled to adoption leave?
How can an employee apply for adoption leave?
What is an employer's obligation regarding adoption leave?
How does an employer claim adoption leave reimbursement?
8. Unpaid infant care leave entitlement
Each working parent in Singapore is eligible for 6 days of unpaid infant care leave each year, provided their child is a Singapore citizen and under the age of 2. This entitlement is in addition to 6 days of paid childcare leave.
To qualify for unpaid infant care leave, an employee must fulfil the following criteria:
His or her child should be under 2 years old.
His or her child is a Singapore citizen.
He or she must have completed at least 3 months of employment with the organisation.
This entitlement also applies to employees who are adoptive parents or step-parents, as long as they fulfil the above criteria.
Simplify employee leave tracking with Payboy’s leave management system!
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often find leave management to be a pain point, and we can understand why:
SMEs don’t have as many HR resources as larger businesses. As a result, they often have to rely on manual leave processes, which can be both time-consuming and error-prone.
SMEs often have a more limited pool of employees to choose from when someone goes on leave. This can lead to disruptions in workflow and decreased productivity.
If leave isn't managed properly, it can have a negative impact on productivity and morale. Therefore, good HR software is an essential tool for any business that wants to stay on top of its leave entitlements and ensure its employees are getting the rest they deserve.
Here are some benefits of using our leave management module!
Manage leaves digitally
Our leave management module is designed to streamline the leave management process, making it easy for employees to apply for leave and check leave balances, as well as for employers to approve and manage leave requests.
Employees can also easily submit supporting documents or certificates via the mobile app, so that all the documents are stored in a central database. No more missing documents!
Sync seamlessly with Shift Scheduling and Payroll Processing modules
Shift scheduling and payroll calculation can be time-consuming and stressful while you are managing different leave types and requests. With Payboy HR software, when leaves are approved, the employee’s availability will be automatically updated in the Shift Scheduling module, and any encashed or unpaid leave will be calculated in the Payroll Processing module.
Customise the leave policy that best fits your business needs