Category Archives: Leave Benefits

Leave Benefits Covered by Legislation

There are a lot of employees who are confused on what are legislated benefits and what are contractual benefits. It is important to differentiate between them for companies are obliged to provide nothing less for legislated benefits. For example, the law stipulates a minimum 7 days of Annual Leave, and companies must provide either that or more, and not less.

Below is a list of legislated benefits which you can easily find about your entitlements online:

  1. Annual Leave
  2. Sick Leave (or some named it as Medical Leave)
  3. Childcare Leave
  4. Maternity Leave
  5. Adoption Leave
  6. Paternity Leave
  7. Shared Paternity Leave

Below is a list of common leave benefits provided by companies and not legislated by local laws:

  1. Marriage Leave
  2. Compassionate Leave
  3. Exam Leave
  4. Family Care Leave
  5. Birthday Leave

I worked 38 hours a week, can my employer pro-rate my Childcare Leave?

If you worked 34 hours a week, you will be considered a Part-Timer and thus your Childcare Leave entitlements will be pro-rated accordingly.

However, if you worked more than that – in this case 38 hours a week — your Childcare Leave entitlements shall be as per the entitlement as a Full-Timer.

I am a single mom. Do I have childcare leave?

You do not have to be married in order to be eligible for childcare leave. As long as you had worked for your employer for at least 3 months (continuous), you will be entitled to Childcare Leave.

If your child is a Singaporean and below 7 years old – 6 days
If you child is a Singaporean and between 7-12 years old – 2 days
If your child is a Non-Singaporean and below 7 years old – 2 days

Top 5 Myths: Part-Time Employment

Top 5 Myths

Myth 01: Part-Timers are hourly-rated staff
As defined by the Singapore main Labour Law – the Employment Act – Part-Timers are employees who are contracted to work less than 35 hours a week. The type of payment does not matter.

Myth 02: Part-Timers are temporary staff
As per the local law, there is no definition as to who is a temporary staff. Nevertheless, I believe it is widely agreed that it is one who worked on a temporary basis with an end date to the contract of employment. Part-Timers can be both temporary and permanent staff; they cannot be defined as temporary staff.

Myth 03: Part-Timers are staff who worked 35 hours or less
If an employee is contracted to work 35 hours in a week, he/she is not a Part-Timer and benefits should be with in accordance to what a Full-Timer entitles (especially under the Employment Act).

Myth 04: Part-Timers are not entitled to Annual Leave and Sick Leave
This is a common belief by organisations (and at times misunderstood by HR Practitioners).  As long as one completed at least 3 months of service, they are entitled to Leave benefits under the Employment Act (if they are covered).

Myth 05: You do not have to issue a contract to a Part-Timer
If one is covered by the Employment Act, the employer should issue KET (Key Employment Terms) to the employee.

Top 5 Myths: Sick Leave & Reimbursements

Top 5 Myths.jpg

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.

Non-Singaporean child not in Singapore. Entitled to Childcare Leave?

In the HR Singapore community I was in, this question was asked:

“We have a PRC employee whose child is below 7 years old, so rightfully, this employee should be entitled to childcare leave. However, her child is not in Singapore. In such circumstances, would you allow her to use this childcare leave?

Thanks in advance for your advise.”

It is not a question on whether we allow or disallow. It is a question on whether the employee is covered under the Employment Act. If he/she is covered, we have to give him/her the childcare leave – 2 days. The legislation did not state that the child must be in Singapore.

Aside, speaking on a moral perspective, even if the law says we can disallow the employee from taking such leave if the child is not in Singapore, we should still give to the employee. What is the internet for?

Reference can be found under my Page “Sources”:
Childcare Leave Eligibility

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.