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Rest day: A guide for employers in Singapore

As an employer, understanding and strategically implementing rest days showcases a commitment not just to productivity but, more importantly, to the health and well-being of your workforce. This comprehensive guide will answer all of your rest day-related questions, including their significance, legal implications, and detailed calculations. 

How many rest days are required by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)?

It is mandated that employees be entitled to one rest day per week

A rest day must be a full 24-hour period, preferably consecutive with the other working days, and it is not compensated.

For shift workers, the rest day can last for a continuous period of 30 hours. This 30-hour rest period that begins before 6 p.m. on a Sunday counts as one rest day for the week, even if it extends into Monday of the following week.

Is there any difference between an off day and a rest day?

“Off day” and “rest day” are often used interchangeably, but they have minor differences depending on the context and specific employment regulations.

An off day is any day that an employee does not have to work. This could be a regular day off, a public holiday, a sick day, or a personal leave day. Off days are not always mandated by law. 

A rest day usually refers to a specific day, often mandated by law, where an employee is entitled to complete rest and relaxation from work. Rest days often come with specific regulations about how they should be spent, such as the minimum duration or restrictions on working.

Can I determine the rest day for my employees?

As an employer, you can determine the rest day, which can be a Sunday or any other day of the week. 

Aside from the rest day, the other days of the week when employees do not have to work are not considered rest days.

If the rest day is not on a Sunday, you should create a monthly roster and notify your employees of the rest days prior to the start of each month. The maximum interval between two rest days is 12 days.

Can my employees work on a rest day?

A weekly rest day is important for an employee’s well-being and productivity. As an employer, you can only require your employees to work on the rest day under specific circumstances.

If my employees work on a rest day, can I give them a day off instead of pay?

Rest day pay is set at a higher rate to compensate employees for the extra hours worked. As a result, you cannot grant your employees time off in lieu of pay if they are subject to Part IV of the Employment Act and asked to work on a rest day.

For employees such as managers and executives who are not covered by Part IV of the Employment Act, their entitlement will be determined by the terms of their employment contract.

If the rest day is a weekday, do I need to pay my employees for working on Sunday?

If the rest day falls on a weekday and Sunday is a regular work day, your employees will be paid at the normal basic rate of pay specified in their employment contract. They will not be paid rest day pay.

Who is eligible for rest day pay?

Employees are eligible for rest day pay if they are:

  • A non-workman earning a monthly basic salary of $2,600 or less.
  • A workman earning a monthly basic salary of $4,500 or less.

How do I calculate my employee’s pay if he or she works on a rest day?

The rest day pay is calculated as follows:

If work is doneFor up to half the employee's normal daily working hoursFor more than half the employee's normal daily working hoursBeyond the employee's normal daily working hours
At the employer’s request1 day’s salary2 days’ salary2 days’ salary + overtime pay
At the employee’s requestHalf day’s salary1 day’s salary1 day’s salary + overtime pay

Pay for working half a rest day =
(12 x monthly basic rate of pay) / (52 x average number of days an employee is required to work in a week) x 1 x number of working rest days

Pay for working a full rest day =
(12 x monthly basic rate of pay) / (52 x average number of days an employee is required to work in a week) x 2 x number of working rest days

Example 1:

An employee is a non-worker who works 5 days a week for $2,500 per month. In January, he works on 2 full rest days.

Applying the formula, we have:

(12 x 2,500) / (52 x 5) x 2 x 2 = 461.54

Therefore, his rest day pay is $461.54.

Example 2:

An employee is a worker who works 5 days a week for $4,000 per month. In January, she works on 2.5 rest days.

Applying the formula, we have:

(12 x 4,000) / (52 x 5) x 2 x 2.5 = $923.08

Therefore, her rest day pay is $923.08.

Tip: Use MOM's rest day calculator to determine your employee's pay for working on a rest day. 

Calculate pay on rest day for your employees with Payboy HR software!

Pay on a rest day is a key item to include in itemised payslips, as required by MOM. Payslips that are not generated on time or contain errors can have a negative impact on productivity and morale. A good HR software is thus an essential tool for any company that wishes to stay on top of its HR obligations. 

With our fully compliant, customisable, and integrated payroll processing module, you can automatically generate itemised payslips for your employees and also enjoy additional features that are designed to save you time and effort:

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    • We’ll fit into your ecosystem seamlessly and keep your finance team happy. Learn more about our seamless integrations with Xero, Financio, and Quickbooks.

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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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