Parenthood is a transformative experience, and for those who opt for adoption, it presents joys and unique challenges. As an employer in Singapore, it is crucial to acknowledge and support employees embarking on this remarkable path.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recognises the importance of adoption and offers adoption leave to assist employees during this process. From eligibility criteria to leave entitlements, this guide will provide everything an employer needs to know to create a supportive environment for your employees who are adoptive parents!
What is adoption leave?
In Singapore, adoption leave is a valuable entitlement available to eligible adoptive mothers, including self-employed individuals. Understanding the significance of creating a supportive environment during the initial stages of adoption, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) mandates that adoptive mothers are entitled to 12 weeks of paid adoption leave.
Who is eligible for adoption leave?
To qualify for adoption leave in Singapore, your employee should meet the following requirements:
Age of the Adopted Child: The child that your employee is adopting should be below the age of 12 months at the point of her formal intent to adopt.
For a local child: It occurs when she files the court application to adopt.
For a foreign child: It happens when in-principle approval is granted for a Dependant's Pass.
Citizenship of the Adopted Child:
The adopted child must be a Singapore citizen.
In the case of a foreign child:
At least one of the adoptive parents must be a Singapore citizen.
The child must acquire Singapore citizenship within 6 months of the adoption.
To be eligible for adoption leave, the employee must have served your company 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.
What is the adoption leave entitlement for eligible employees?
If your employee’s formal intent to adopt takes place on or after 1 July 2017, she is entitled to 12 weeks of adoption leave as a mother, capped at $10,000 (including CPF) for every 4-week leave taken.
Your employee can start her adoption leave from her formal intent to adopt, and she must consume her adoption leave before the child’s first birthday.
Are part-time employees entitled to adoption leave?
Yes, part-time employees in Singapore are also entitled to 12 weeks of adoption leave, which is adjusted based on their number of working hours.
Here’s the formula to calculate adoption leave for part-time employees:
(Number of hours a part-time employee has to work per week × 52 weeks) / (Number of hours a similar full-time employee has to work per week × 52 weeks) x 12 weeks of adoption leave x Number of hours a similar full-time employee has to work a day
A part-time employee works 5 hours a day for 3 days per week, while a similar full-time employee works 8 hours a day for 5 days per week.
Number of hours the part-time employee works per week = 5 hours/day x 3 days/week = 15 hours/week
Number of hours the full-time employee works per week = 8 hours/day x 5 days/week = 40 hours/week
12 weeks of adoption leave x 5 working days/week = 60 days of adoption leave
Using the above formula, we have:
(15 hours/week x 52 weeks) / (40 hours/week x 52 weeks) x 60 days of adoption leave x 8 hours/day
= 180 hours
Therefore, the part-time employee would be eligible for 180 hours of adoption leave.
To apply for adoption leave, the employee must submit the completed declaration form (AL1) along with all required supporting documents to the employer. The application should follow the employer's designated leave application procedures.
What is my obligation as an employer regarding adoption leave?
As an employer, you will continue to pay your employee’s usual monthly salary during the leave period and claim the following reimbursement from the government:
Paid by employer
Reimbursed by government
First and second
First 4 weeks
Last 8 weeks
$20,000 per child
Third and subsequent
All 12 weeks
$30,000 per child
How do I claim adoption leave reimbursement as an employer?
Obtain the declaration form (AL1)and supporting documents from your employee and verify their eligibility for adoption leave.
The declaration form must be kept for 5 years from the last day of the relevant period for audit purposes.
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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often find leave management to be a pain point, and we can understand why:
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