Family care leave guide for employers in Singapore
Family care leave plays a crucial role in supporting employees during important life events and ensuring a compassionate work environment. In this guide, we will discuss the various types of family care leave that the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) requires, as well as some additional leave benefits that you might think about providing to your employees. Let's dive in and discover how you can be a supportive and understanding employer in Singapore!
What family care leave policies does the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) mandate?
Maternity leave is crucial as it allows new mothers to prioritise their physical and emotional recovery, establish a strong parent-child bond, and feel secure in their employment. By providing maternity leave, employers demonstrate their commitment to supporting employees during this significant life event, leading to higher satisfaction and retention rates.
In Singapore, the MOM mandates that eligible employees are entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave if the child is a Singapore citizen and the employee has served the company for at least 3 months before the birth of the child.
Is the child a Singapore citizen?
Number of weeks of maternity leave
Paid by Employer1
Reimbursed by Government
First 8 weeks
Last 8 weeks2
First 8 weeks
Last 4 weeks3
The employee must give the employer at least 1 week’s notice before going on maternity leave and inform them as soon as possible of her delivery. Otherwise, the employee will only receive half the payment during maternity leave.
If the child is a third or subsequent birth, the Government will reimburse all 16 weeks.
The employer can still opt to pay for the last 4 weeks as part of employee benefits.
Paternity leave offers fathers the opportunity to bond with their newborns and support their partner during the postpartum period. Recognising the importance of involving fathers in the early stages of their child's life, the MOM mandates that eligible fathers in Singapore are entitled to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave. The employee can also apply to share up to 4 weeks of the wife’s 16 weeks of government-paid maternity leave, subject to the wife’s agreement.
Tip: Explore additional details regarding the qualifications and steps for paternity leave in our guide!
Recognising the needs of working parents to care for their young children, the MOM mandates that eligible working parents in Singapore are entitled to 6 days of paid childcare leave per year for children below the age of 7. This leave can be used to care for a sick child or attend to childcare responsibilities.
Employers should establish clear guidelines for requesting childcare leave and ensure that employees feel supported when they need time off to care for their children. By fostering a family-friendly work environment, employers can strengthen employee morale and loyalty.
To provide further support to working parents, the MOM has also introduced extended childcare leave. Eligible parents in Singapore can now benefit from an additional 2 days of paid leave per year if the employee fulfils the following criteria:
Age of the Youngest Child: The employee’s youngest child should be between 7 and 12 years old, both inclusive.
Singapore Citizenship: The employee’s child is a Singapore citizen.
Length of Employment: The employee must have completed at least 3 months of employment with their company.
Adoption leave is provided for employees who are adopting a child. The Ministry of Manpower mandates that eligible employees in Singapore are entitled to 12 weeks of paid adoption leave.
Adoption leave gives employees the opportunity to bond with their newly adopted child and ensure a smooth transition into the family. Employers should be accommodating and supportive when it comes to adoption leave, as it is a significant milestone in an employee's life.
For parents with infants under the age of 2, the Ministry of Manpower has introduced unpaid infant care leave. Eligible parents in Singapore are entitled to 6 days of unpaid leave per year, which can be used to care for their young infants.
While this leave is unpaid, it is crucial for employers to recognise the needs of parents with infants and provide them with the flexibility to take time off when necessary. By practising empathy and flexibility, employers can demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being.
What are other types of family care leave that I can consider offering to my employees?
Although the MOM does not require these leave benefits, they are good options to give your employees more assistance in managing their family responsibilities.
Compassionate leave is a discretionary leave provision that allows employees to take time off to attend to family emergencies or bereavement. Despite not being required by the Ministry of Manpower, providing compassionate leave demonstrates your compassion and empathy as an employer towards your employees during difficult times.
Eldercare leave is a type of leave that allows employees to take time off from work to attend to the needs of their ageing parents or elderly family members. As parents and loved ones grow older, they may require additional support, medical attention, or assistance in daily activities. Eldercare leave provides employees with the necessary time and flexibility to address these needs and ensure the welfare of their elderly family members.
Family caregiver leave
Family caregiver leave grants employees the opportunity to take a leave of absence to care for family members, extending beyond childcare or eldercare leave. This acknowledges that employees may have caregiving duties for a broader spectrum of family members, including older children, siblings, or grandchildren. By offering this leave option, employees have the flexibility to fulfil these responsibilities without any adverse effects on their employment status.
What are the benefits of offering family care leave to my employees?
Offering family care leave to employees can have several benefits, including:
Enhanced work-life balance: Additional family care leave allows employees to balance their work commitments with their personal and family responsibilities. This improved work-life balance reduces stress and helps employees maintain overall well-being.
Increased employee loyalty and retention: Providing extra family care leave demonstrates a commitment to supporting employees in their personal lives. This can foster a sense of loyalty and appreciation among employees, leading to higher retention rates and reduced turnover.
Positive employer branding: Offering additional family care leave helps build a positive employer brand. This showcases the organisation as an inclusive and caring employer, which can improve its reputation and image among employees, customers, and the public.
Attraction of top talent: Organisations that prioritise family-friendly policies, including additional family care leave, are more likely to attract top talent. Prospective employees value work environments that support their work-life integration, making the organisation more competitive in the job market.
What key elements should I include in my company's leave policy to provide family care leave to employees?
If you plan to provide some of these additional family care leave days as part of your leave policy, the following details may be useful to include in your employment contracts:
Definition of family care leave;
Eligibility requirements for employees to receive family care 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 family care leave and returning to work after taking it.
By including clear guidelines on what family care leave constitutes and how it can be accessed, companies are able to offer essential support for their employees’ family responsibilities. 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.
Contribute to the well-being of your employees with a comprehensive family care leave policy!
As an employer in Singapore, recognising and accommodating the family care needs of your employees is of utmost importance. By adhering to the mandated family care leave by the MOM and considering additional leave options, you can foster a positive work environment, enhance employee morale, and create a loyal and dedicated workforce.
Please remember that supporting employees during important life events is not only the right thing to do but also beneficial for your organisation in the long run. By prioritising work-life balance and family care, you can build a strong foundation for a thriving and compassionate workplace!
Simplify employee leave tracking with Payboy’s HR and payroll software!
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 smaller 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 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, such as compassionate leave or family care leave!
Our Payboy Support Centre also helps to address most of the FAQs regarding other statutory leave entitlements asked by our customers: