Category Archives: Dollar and Cents

Top 5 Myths: Public Holiday Pay

Top 5 Myths

Myth 01: Public Holiday Pay is only applicable for Full-Timers
Part-Timers are also entitled to Public Holiday Pay. However, I have seen a couple of companies who refused to pay Public Holiday Pay, which is illegal as per the Employment Act.

Myth 02: Public Holiday Pay is 2x rate
While there is nothing wrong with this statement, it can be misleading.
If you are scheduled to work on a PH, you shall be compensated with either an additional 1 day of pay (Basic rate) or 1 Day Off in Lieu. There should not be a case of paying by hourly rate. For example, if you worked 3 hours on a Public Holiday, you should still get an additional 1 day of pay (Basic rate) or 1 Day Off in Lieu, instead of 3 hours of pay (not even it is for 6 hours of pay).

Myth 03: Public Holiday Pay is OT Pay
Public Holiday Pay is never considered as OT Pay. It is simply Public Holiday Pay, that’s it.

Myth 04: Validity of Public Holiday Off
This is not covered under the Singapore labour law; you will have to depend on the contract of agreement with your employer.

Myth 05 Employees do not have to work on a Public Holiday
Most people take it for granted that as long as it is a Public Holiday, one is not required to work. In actual fact, the law didn’t legislated that right, but rather (I think) it is created out of social norm. The law only states the remuneration / compensation payable if you work on a Public Holiday. It is the company who shall state whether one will be required to work on a Public Holiday.

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Top 5 Myths: Sick Leave & Reimbursements

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Assuming the employee is covered under the Employment Act (don’t have to be covered under Part IV).

Myth 01: Entitled only after Probation
The employee will be entitled to Sick Leave after 3 months of employment.

Myth 02: Medical Consultation Costs does not cover Pregnancy-related Costs
I remembered back in few years ago, a group of HR Practitioners were debating fiercely on this in my company. Why didn’t they just cite the legislation?
If an employee is eligible for paid sick leave, employer has to bear the medical consultation fee, irregardless if it is pregnancy-related or not. Do note that the law only states reimbursement for medical consultation fees and not other medical costs (e.g. medicine).

Myth 03: Sick Leave includes Work-Injury-related Medical Leave
Work Injury medical leave wages are separated from the entitlements stipulated by the Employment Act.

Myth 04: Hospitalisation Leave is recognised only if you are hospitalised
You do not have to be hospitalised in order to be eligible for paid hospitalisation leave as per the Employment Act.

Myth 05: If you are on Annual Leave and fall sick, you can take Sick Leave instead
This is not covered by the Employment Act and it shall falls back to the Company Policies.

Payment for Work on Holiday in Overseas

Re posted from HR Singapore

Can company choose not to pay holiday pay as employee is already provided per diem while on overseas trip during Singapore public holiday?

My reply:

Firstly, it is good to check if employee is covered under Employment Act first. If he/she is covered, my advice as follow:

Per diem generally refers to allowances given to staff for expenses incurred during overseas business trip. Such could be for lodging and food.
Public Holiday pay is not an allowance; a payment given to staff who worked on a Public Holiday for Public Holiday is a paid non-working day.

Unless the per diem payment given explicitly include the Public Holiday pay item (no less than 1 day basic), such should be separated from the per diem payment.

Top 3 Picks of the Week

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  1. Can we deploy our foreign employees to queue for Bak Kwa?

    This appeared in the news (see Migrant Workers Queue (Today)), where companies actually deployed their foreign employees to queue for Bak Kwa. While compensation was mentioned (half a day off, meal allowance, etc.), it is still illegal for both work permit and s pass holders as they are only allow to work in an occupation as stated in their permit card. Further, there is an issue on the compensation –  is this during office hours or after? If it’s the latter, what about overtime payment?
    Legal issues aside, while some foreigners are in favor of this arrangement (able to earn an extra income), I believe there will be some who are not willing to do so. Will this be fair for them?
    The clauses on disallowing foreign workers to work in an occupation other than that as stated in their permit card can be found in my Page Sources: Work Pass Conditions. (Forth and Fifth Schedule)


  2. New HDB Rule for Non-Malaysians Work Permit Holders in the
    Manufacturing Sector

    Effective 01 Jan, non-malaysians work permit holders from the manufacturing sector can no longer rent a whole HDB unit, thought they can still rent individual rooms. Those who are currently still under their existing contracts can stay till it expire.
    You can check out the news at HDB Rule Change (Today)


  3. Public Holiday Entitlements

    As shared previously, check out Entitlements during Public Holidays for the FAQs on entitlements for public holiday.
    Further, as CNY falls on a weekend, employees might be confused on their entitlements. You can check out on the various scenarios given at Scenarios of Work Schedule during CNY.

Lastly, we hope you had an enjoyable Chinese New Year!

Overseas Allowance covers Overtime Pay?

A friend once asked, if it is legal for his company to not pay him Overtime for those additional hours clocked while on overseas business trip. His company had highlighted to him that the Overseas Allowance given to him shall cover Overtime as well.

Sounds fishy?

If one is covered under Part IV of the Employment Act, he / she shall be entitled to Overtime claims. It doesn’t matter whether work is perform locally or abroad. Further, using allowance to cover OT pay should be deem as illegal.

Using Hourly Rate for Rest Day Pay

While we use hourly rate to calculate for OT rate, we have to use the basic rate of pay (based on Basic Salary) for calculating Rest Day pay, as per the provision(s) in the Employment Act.

Aside, you can refer to another similar FAQ for Rest Day pay:
Working on Rest Day considered for Overtime Pay?

Reference can be found under my Page “Sources”:
Rest Day Pay