Maternity, paternity and childcare leave in Singapore - What every employer must know

If you're an employer in Singapore, you'll want to be sure that you're up-to-date on the latest maternity, paternity and childcare leave regulations. In this guide, we've provided answers to frequently asked questions regarding parental leave in Singapore. Read on to find out more!


Maternity leave entitlement

Who is entitled to maternity leave?

To qualify for maternity leave, the employee must work for the employer for at least 3 continuous months before the birth of the child.

Do contract workers get maternity leave?

Yes, contract employees are entitled to statutory leave benefits (e.g. annual leave, sick leave, maternity, and child-care leave benefits) if they meet a minimum service period of 3 months without a break in service.

Do note that if the contract is renewed within a month, it will be considered as one continuous contract. This is to prevent employers from breaking up the contracts to avoid providing the above benefits for the contract employee.

Employers can prorate the above statutory leave benefits based on the length of the contract.

Can an employee get maternity leave during probation period?

Yes, an employee is eligible for maternity leave if she meets the eligibility criteria and has served the employer for at least 3 months before the birth of the child.

How many weeks of maternity leave is a working mother entitled to?

Is the child a Singapore citizen No of weeks of maternity leave Paid by employer1 Reimbursed by Government Unpaid leave
Yes 16 weeks First 8 weeks Last 8 weeks2 -
No 12 weeks First 8 weeks - Last 4 weeks3

Notes:

  1. 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 be entire to half the payment during maternity leave
  2. If the child is a third or subsequent birth, the Government will reimburse all 16 weeks
  3. The employer can still opt to pay for the last 4 weeks as part of employee’s benefits.

Can maternity leave be taken in parts?

Yes the employee has the option to take her maternity leave either in one block or spread out over 12 months.

If the maternity leave is to be taken in parts based on mutual agreement with the employer,

  • the first 8 weeks must be taken in one continuous stretch and
  • the last 8 weeks can be taken flexibly over 12 months from the child’s birth

When does maternity leave start?

Maternity leave can start anytime within 4 weeks before the expected delivery date.

Example: If the expected date of delivery is 1 October, the employee can start her maternity leave between 3 September and 1 October

How does an employee apply for maternity leave?

The employee can submit the declaration form (GPML1) to the employer with all necessary supporting documents and apply for Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) according to the employer’s leave application procedures.

How to claim maternity leave reimbursement as an employer? 

  1. Obtain the declaration form (GPML1) and supporting documents from your employee and verify their eligibility for Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML). 
    • The declaration form must be kept for 5 years from the last GPML date for audit purposes.
  2. Submit your claim for reimbursement online via the Government-Paid Leave (GPL) Portal after your employee has taken the Government-paid portion of GPML. 
    • Submissions should be made no later than 3 months after the last date of your employee’s GPML taken.
  3. Check your application status on the GPL Portal. A notification will be sent to you and your employee once your application is processed.

Paternity leave

How long is paternity leave in Singapore?

From 1 January 2017, eligible working fathers, including those who are self-employed, are entitled to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave funded by the Government.

The employee can also apply to share up to 4 weeks of the wife’s 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML), subject to the wife’s agreement.

How does an employee apply for paternity leave?

The employee can submit the declaration form (GPPL1) to the employer with all necessary supporting documents and  apply for GPPL according to the employer’s leave application procedures.

How to claim paternity leave reimbursement as an employer?

  1. Obtain the declaration form (GPPL1) and supporting documents from your employee and verify their eligibility for Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL). 
    • The declaration form must be kept for 5 years from the last GPML date for audit purposes.
  2. Submit your claim for reimbursement online via the Government-Paid Leave (GPL) Portal no later than 3 months after the last date of your employee’s GPPL taken.
  3. Check your application status on the GPL Portal. A notification will be sent to you and your employee once your application is processed.

Childcare leave

How many days of childcare leave entitlements are there in Singapore?

If the employee has worked for the employer for at least 3 continuous months, the working parent is entitled to the number of childcare leave days below depending on whether the child is a Singapore citizen and is below 7 years old.

Is the child a Singapore citizen and below 7 years old No of childcare leave days Eligible for Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL)1
Yes 6 Yes 
No 2 No

Notes:

  1. The GPCL is only applicable to the last 3 days of childcare leave (capped at $500 per day), while the first 3 days will be paid by the employer at the employee’s gross rate of pay

Is childcare leave pro-rated?

Yes, childcare leave is pro-rated according to the employee’s length of employment service during the 12-month period.

Length of employment service during 12-month relevant period No of childcare leave days
Less than 5 months 2
Less than 7 months 3
Less than 9 months 4
Less than 11 months 5
11 months or more 6

Can childcare leave be carried forward?

Employees cannot carry forward their childcare leave to the next year. He or she has to utilise his or her annual childcare leave entitlement by the end of each year.

How does an employee apply for childcare leave?

The employee has to submit the declaration form (GPCL1) to the employer with all necessary supporting documents and apply for GPCL according to the employer’s leave application procedures.

How to claim childcare leave reimbursement as an employer?

  1. Obtain the declaration form (GPCL1) and supporting documents from your employee and verify their eligibility for Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL). 
    • The declaration form must be kept for 5 years from the last day of the relevant period for audit purposes
  2. Submit your claim for reimbursement online via the Government-Paid Leave (GPL) Portal no later than 3 months after the last day of the 12-month period.
  3. Check your application status on the GPL Portal. A notification will be sent to you and your employee once your application is processed.

Why do some SMEs find leave management challenging?

Small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) often find leave management to be a pain point. Here are 2 key reasons:

  1. SMEs don’t have the same 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.
  2. 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.

How to simplify leave tracking with Payboy’s leave management system?

If leave isn't managed properly, it can have a negative impact on productivity and morale. Therefore a good leave management software is an essential tool for any business that wants to keep on top of its leave entitlements and ensure that its employees are getting the rest they deserve. Here are some benefits of using our leave management module:

Manage leaves digitally

Our leave management software is designed to streamline the leave 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!

Syncs seamlessly with shift scheduling and payroll 

Shift scheduling and payroll calculation can be time-consuming and stressful while managing different leave requests. With Payboy HR software, it automatically updates the employee’s availability in Shift Scheduling and also calculates encashed or unpaid leave in Payroll module when leaves are approved. We've got it covered.

Customise the leave policy that best fits your business needs

We'll start you off with a setup that's compliant to MOM requirements, but we'll be happy to help you update it to a leave policy that works best for your business needs. Check out how to customise settings for each leave type with Payboy, including maternity, paternal and childcare leave.

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

Keen to have a free demo? Reach out to us below!

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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