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Compassionate leave guide for employers in Singapore

Demonstrating empathy and understanding towards employees during personal emergencies is vital for employers, and offering compassionate leave is one way to achieve it. Read on to learn how to navigate the process with ease and support your employees during challenging times.

What is compassionate leave?

Compassionate leave in Singapore is a type of leave that employees can take to deal with issues relating to the death, injury, or illness of their immediate family members.

Is compassionate leave compulsory in Singapore?

Under the Employment Act, it is not compulsory to offer compassionate leave, and it depends on the company leave policy. In the absence of this benefit, the employee may choose to use their annual leave or opt for unpaid leave to attend to personal emergencies. 

While compassionate leave is not mandatory, providing it is a thoughtful way to exhibit care and compassion towards employees, particularly during difficult times. Moreover, it grants employees the opportunity to take time off and cope with their loss without added stress or guilt. 

Is there any difference between compassionate leave and bereavement leave?

Generally, bereavement leave and compassionate leave are not the same. While bereavement leave is often taken after the death of a family member or loved one, compassionate leave can be used for other situations such as serious illness, accidents, or family emergencies.

However, in Singapore, bereavement leave and compassionate leave are used quite interchangeably.

What key elements should be included in my company's leave policy to provide compassionate leave to employees?

If you plan to provide compassionate leave as part of your leave policy, the following details may be useful to include in your employment contracts:

  • Definition of compassionate leave, e.g., time off due to death or serious illness in family members; 
  • Eligibility requirements for employees to receive compassionate leave; 
  • Maximum number of days allowed for each occurrence; 
  • How pay will be handled during the leave period; 
  • Supporting documentation required, e.g., medical certificate or death certificate for verification;  
  • Procedure for notifying employers about the need for compassionate leave and returning to work after taking it. 

By including clear guidelines on what compassionate leave constitutes and how it can be accessed, companies are able to offer essential support for their employees in difficult times. It is important that these policies are communicated clearly and regularly so employees understand their entitlements and feel comfortable taking time off when necessary. This helps create a positive working environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

How many days of compassionate leave are employees entitled to?

As compassionate leave is not a statutory requirement, it is up to the company to determine its own leave policies. The common practise for companies that offer paid compassionate leave is generally between 2 and 5 days per year.

Compassionate leave is also typically granted for only immediate family members; the deaths of more distant relatives (e.g., aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) or friends usually do not qualify for such leave.

Apart from offering compassionate leave, what other measures can I take to promote the mental health and well-being of my employees?

Creating a supportive environment is essential for ensuring employees feel taken care of and know that their well-being is important. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:

  • Providing additional benefits such as flexible working hours can be beneficial during difficult times.
  • Regular check-ins and conversations can also help ensure that any issues are addressed promptly, while fostering a secure space for open discussion.
  • Offering resources such as online therapy or group support sessions can be immensely helpful for those employees who may not feel comfortable talking directly with their employer.

Simplify employee leave tracking with Payboy’s leave management module!

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 much 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 medical 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 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

We'll provide you with a MOM-compliant setup to start with, but we are also ready to assist you in customising your leave policy to fit your business requirements. Check out how to customise settings for each leave type with Payboy, including compassionate leave.

Our Payboy Support Centre also helps to address most of the FAQs regarding other statutory leave entitlements asked by our customers:

Streamline your HR processes with Payboy today!

As a PSG-approved HRMS, Payboy provides a robust system to help you manage your HR tasks so that you can focus on your business and people!

With our wide range of modules, you can customise a solution to meet the specific needs of your business:

Payroll Processing | Leave Management | Claims Management | Applicant Tracking

Time Attendance | Shift Scheduling | Appraisal System | Inventory ManagementProject Costing | Training Management | Benefits

Find out how you can do it all with Payboy

Reach out to us if you are keen for a free demo on how we can help you save hours and give you some peace of mind on payroll and other HR matters so that you can focus on your business and people.
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