S'pore employees legally entitled to at least 7 days annual leave, no plans to increase

MOM says workers are also given other forms of leave like childcare leave and sick leave.

Joshua Lee| August 07, 09:23 AM

Here's something all working adults should know.

You are legally entitled to only seven days of annual leave after your first year of employment.

For every subsequent year of employment, you get one additional day of annual leave, capped at 14 days.

This is spelled out in Part X of the Employment Act.

Other countries have more

If you're thinking that 14 days is rather short, you're probably right.

Our annual leave entitlement is similar to Hong Kong's but other countries like Australia, Belgium, South Korea and New Zealand have more generous provisions:

  • Australia: 20 days per year.
  • Belgium: 20 days after first year of employment.
  • South Korea: 15 - 25 days, depending on length of employment.
  • New Zealand: 20 days.

Why did Singapore set seven days as the minimum, and can the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) increase the number so that Singapore's annual leave entitlement is more comparable to that of developed countries?

Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng Kok Kwang posed these questions in Parliament on August 6.

Workers also entitled to other forms of leave

In a written reply, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that the stipulations in the Employment Act seek to:

"protect the basic interests of employees while balancing business needs and ensuring employees' employability."

While leave entitlements vary across developed economies, said Teo, Singapore's leave entitlement is "comparable" to jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The minister pointed out that Singaporeans are also entitled to other forms of leave such as paid sick leave and childcare leave, which employees can use over and above their annual leave entitlements.

"In other jurisdictions, such leave may not be available, or fully paid," said Teo.

11 days of paid public holidays

Singapore workers are entitled to 11 days of paid public holidays and between two to six days of paid childcare leave (depending on the nationality of the child).

Depending on the length of employment, Singapore workers are also given five to 14 days of paid sick leave and 15 to 60 days of paid hospitalisation leave.

While MOM has no plans to increase the minimum statutory annual leave entitlement, Teo said that it will continue to monitor local and international employment trends and regularly review Singapore's employment policies.

Top photo via advice.j2c.com


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