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Paternity Leave in Singapore: A Guide for Overseas Employers

Most employers are familiar with maternity leave for new mothers, but perhaps don’t realize that many countries also offer paternity leave for the father.  Paternity leave as a benefit may be statutory, by company policy, or both.  The reason behind paternity leave is the recognition that it is equally important for a new father to spend quality time with their newborn child.

In Singapore, there is statutory Government Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) for fathers that meet the eligibility requirements.  Compared to other countries which may only offer 2- 3 days of unpaid leave, Singapore’s paternity leave is very generous.

What are the paternity leave entitlements in Singapore?

The paternity leave entitlements are two paid weeks of ‘working days’.  So, if an employee works 5 days a week that equals 10 paid days, and 6 days a week equals the 12-day maximum benefit.  The paid benefit is capped at SGD $2500 per week.

The employer continues to pay the father as usual, but can then claim reimbursement from the government after the leave is completed.

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What are the eligibility requirements for paternity leave in Singapore?

There are eligibility criteria to qualify for paternity leave:

  • The child is a Singapore citizen
  • The father is lawfully married to the child’s mother between conception and birth
  • The father has three months of continuous service with the employer prior to birth

Because paternity leave can be taken up to one year following birth, a father can become eligible by marrying the mother within a year. Adoptive fathers are also eligible for GPPL.

Can parental leave be shared in Singapore?

An additional benefit is that fathers can share the mother’s ‘parental’ or maternity leave up to four of the allowed 16 weeks.  This of course reduces the mother’s maternity leave by the same amount.

Client Case: What are the eligibility requirements to share parental leave in Singapore?

Our client with an employee in Singapore wanted to know the eligibility requirements for sharing parental leave.  We gave them the following criteria:

  • Your child is a Singapore citizen.
  • The child’s mother qualifies for Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML).
  • You are lawfully married to the child’s mother.

Do you need more information about Singapore?

If you are new to hiring in Singapore, you may have more questions such as:

If a married couple work for the same employer, does that affect how maternity and paternity leave are taken?

Is there any unpaid statutory paternity leave available?

Does a new father have to take paternity leave immediately after birth of the child?

Questions like this arise frequently with our clients, and we strive to ensure their compliance with all entitlements and benefits when hiring abroad.  We make international employment simple.

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The information in this article is subject to changes in local legislation.

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