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Shared parental leave: A guide for employers in Singapore

When it comes to supporting your employees and promoting work-life balance, understanding shared parental leave is crucial. As an employer in Singapore, being well-informed about shared parental leave not only helps you create a family-friendly workplace but also ensures compliance with the law. In this guide, we'll provide insights on shared parental leave in Singapore, addressing eligibility, entitlements, application processes, and how employers can claim government-paid shared parental leave. Read on to find out more!

Who is eligible for shared parental leave in Singapore?

Shared parental leave in Singapore is designed to provide support to working fathers and those who are self-employed. To be eligible for shared parental leave, the following requirements must be met:

  • Child's Citizenship: Your employee’s child must be a Singapore citizen.
  • Mother's Eligibility: The child's mother should qualify for Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML).
  • Marital Status: Your employee must be lawfully married to the child's mother.

What are the shared parental leave entitlements?

Shared parental leave entitlements in Singapore provide working fathers with valuable support during the early months of their child's life. Here are the key details regarding entitlements:

  • Duration: Eligible fathers are entitled to up to 4 weeks of shared parental leave.
  • Payment: The payment for shared parental leave is capped at $2,500 per week, including Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions.
  • Block Allocation: Shared parental leave is allocated in blocks of full weeks. This means that his wife can allocate 1 to 4 weeks of shared parental leave based on their mutual agreement.

Is the shared parental leave based on the working mother or father’s number of working days?

Shared parental leave is based on the working father’s number of working days per week.

To calculate the number of working days for the shared parental leave, you can multiply the number of weeks by the number of working days in the week. It's important to note that the calculation is capped at 6 working days per week.


Paul works 6 days per week, while his wife works 5 days per week. 

Paul’s number of working days for the shared parental leave will be based on his working days, which are 6 days per week.

He can therefore take up to 4 weeks x 6 working days per week = 24 working days of shared parental leave.

As mentioned in the earlier section, do note that shared parental leave has to be taken in blocks of full weeks.

Must my employee take his shared parental leave in a continuous stretch?

Arrangement Up to 4 weeks
Default, without any mutual agreement Shared parental leave can be taken in a continuous stretch, within 12 months after the birth of the child.
Flexibly, by mutual agreement Working fathers can also take shared parental leave in blocks of weeks, within 12 months after the birth of the child.

This flexible approach allows working fathers and their partners to coordinate their leave effectively and ensures that they can be actively involved in caring for their child, especially during the crucial early stages of a child's life.

How can my employee apply for shared parental leave?

To make the application process for shared parental leave as smooth as possible for your employee, here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Decision on the leave arrangement

Before your employee’s wife fully consumes her Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) or Adoption Leave (AL), it's important for your employee to decide on the leave arrangement with her. This involves determining how they plan to share the leave and the specific dates or periods when he will take shared parental leave.

  1. Early notification to you as an employer

It's essential for your employee to notify you, his employer, about their shared parental leave arrangement as early as possible. This early notification allows you to verify their eligibility and make any necessary alternative work arrangements to ensure the continuity of your business operations during their absence.

  1. Declaration by your employee’s wife

Your employee's spouse, as the child's mother, should declare her intention to share her leave. This declaration can occur no earlier than 18 weeks before the child's estimated delivery date. The spouse can complete this declaration online through the Share My Leave eService in the Government-Paid Leave (GPL) Portal, using her Singpass.

  1. Submission of Shared Parental Leave Declaration Form (SPL1)

Ensure that your employee submits the SPL1 form to you with all necessary supporting documents to validate their eligibility. You may also use your own declaration form or system for your employee to declare his eligibility.

  1. Application for shared parental leave

Once your employee's declaration has been submitted and approved, they will proceed to apply for shared parental leave. This application process should align with your company's specific leave application procedures. Make sure your employee follows your guidelines when submitting their leave application.

By supporting your employee through this process and maintaining clear communication, you not only demonstrate your commitment to promoting a family-friendly workplace but also ensure that the shared parental leave policy is applied correctly. This approach allows your employee to enjoy quality time with their child during the early months of their life while adhering to the relevant regulations and requirements.

When can my employee apply for shared parental leave?

As an employer, it's important to know when your employee can apply for shared parental leave. Here's the timeline to keep in mind:

  • Before the child's estimated delivery date: Your employee's spouse, the child's mother, can declare her intention to share her leave no earlier than 18 weeks before the child's estimated delivery date. This is the earliest point at which the declaration can be made.
  • Within 12 months after the child's birth: Shared parental leave can be taken within 12 months after the birth of the child. This provides flexibility for your employee to choose when to take their leave, allowing them to align it with their family's needs.

As an employer, how can I claim government-paid shared parental leave?

Claiming government-paid shared parental leave involves a straightforward process. Here's a guide on how you, as an employer, can claim this benefit:

  1. Obtain the SPL Declaration Form and supporting documents: 
  • When your employee applies for shared parental leave (SPL), they will provide you with the SPL Declaration Form (SPL1) and the necessary supporting documents. Alternatively, you can use your own form or system to capture your employee's declaration. Ensure that the information requested is similar to the details on the declaration form.
  • It's important to note that these records should be retained for a period of 5 years from the last date of your employee's SPL. This documentation is crucial for audit purposes.
  1. Verify the declaration by your employee's wife: Before proceeding with your claim, verify that your employee's wife has made a declaration to share her leave in the Government-Paid Leave (GPL) Portal. This step is essential to confirm your employee's eligibility for shared parental leave.
  2. Submit claim for reimbursement: To claim reimbursement for government-paid shared parental leave, you should submit your claim online via the GPL Portal. Ensure that this submission is made no later than 3 months after the last date of your employee's SPL.
  3. Monitor application status: After submitting your claim, you can monitor the status of your application on the GPL Portal. You will receive notification once your application is processed. This notification will confirm the approval and processing of your claim.

How can I better support my employees who are working parents?

Supporting working fathers in the workplace is not only beneficial for the employees but also essential to a positive work environment. Besides government-paid paternity leave and shared parental leave, here are some other ways you can consider to further support working fathers:

  1. Flexible work arrangements

Offer flexible work hours or remote work options to help fathers balance their work and family responsibilities. This flexibility can be especially valuable during the early months of parenthood.

  1. Extended paternity leave

Consider offering additional paternity leave beyond the legal requirements. This demonstrates your commitment to supporting fathers and fostering work-life balance.

  1. Support for childcare needs

Offer or subsidise childcare services on-site or provide information on reliable external childcare options. This support can help fathers ensure their children are well-cared for while they are at work.

  1. Return-to-work programmes

Develop return-to-work programmes for fathers who have taken parental leave. These programmes can ease their transition back into the workplace and provide opportunities for them to catch up on any changes or updates during their absence.

  1. Equal opportunities

Ensure that working fathers have the same opportunities for advancement, promotions, and career growth as their colleagues. Avoid biases related to parenthood that may hinder their progress.

  1. Lead by example

As an employer or manager, lead by example in terms of work-life balance. Demonstrate that it is possible to be a dedicated professional and an engaged parent.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a workplace that is supportive of working fathers, fostering a more inclusive and family-friendly environment while improving employee satisfaction and retention.

Tip: Learn more about the different types of family care leave with our “Family care leave guide for employees in Singapore”!

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

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 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 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 shared parental leave, paternity leave, and more!

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 Management | Project 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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