In Singapore, many kids grow up in dual-income families, with both parents working. Whether it is by need or by choice, what’s important is for parents to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Your children deserve you at your best! If you’re a working mum or dad, make sure you know what maternity leave and paternity leave schemes you are entitled to, and make full use of them.
Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML)
16 weeks per child
Working mums get 16 weeks of GPML so that you can focus entirely on your precious newborn. The 16 weeks typically begin a month before your EDD and continue till Baby is about three months old. However, if your employer is agreeable, you may start your maternity leave any time within the four weeks before your EDD, and the final eight weeks can also be spread out over Baby’s first year.
Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)
2 weeks per child
Working dads get two weeks of GPPL — yes, we want more too! But as of now, you can take the two weeks consecutively within Baby’s first 16 weeks. Alternatively, you can take it flexibly within Baby’s first year. Just come to a mutual agreement with your employer first.
Shared Parental Leave (SPL)
To supplement GPPL, working dads can actually share up to four weeks of your wife’s maternity leave. As long as the lady in question is agreeable, of course. While you may choose to take it in one continuous block or in blocks of weeks, SPL must be taken within 12 months of Baby’s birth. Flexible employers may also allow employees to take it by days.
Adoption Leave for Mothers (AL)
12 weeks per child
For adoptive mothers who adopt an infant under one year old, you get 12 weeks of paid AL to be taken within Baby’s first year. It should be taken in one continuous block. The last four weeks can be spread out over the 12 months from Baby’s birth if your employer agrees. SPL also applies, where adoptive dads can share up to four weeks of their wives’ AL.
Paid Childcare Leave
Government-Paid Childcare Leave (CCL)
6 days per year per parent
If you have at least one child under seven years old, each parent can apply for six days of GPCL every year.
Extended Childcare Leave (ECL)
2 days per year per parent
If you have at least one child from seven to 12 years old, each parent can apply for two days of ECL every year.
Each parent is entitled to a maximum of six days of paid childcare leave per year, even if you have children in both age groups.
Unpaid Infant Care Leave (ICL)
Up to 6 days per year per parent
If you have at least one child under two years old, each parent can apply for six days of ICL every year, in addition to CCL. Do note that you don’t get paid for those days, though.
If You’re Not Eligible for GPML/GPPL/GPAL
Perhaps you don’t qualify for maternity leave and paternity leave due to your employment status. You may be a short-term contract employee or worked for multiple employers in the past year. Don’t fret. As long as you worked for a total minimum of 90 days in the 12 months before Baby’s arrival, you can apply to receive a cash benefit in lieu of leave days.
Government-Paid Maternity Benefit (GPMB)
Working mums who aren’t eligible for maternity leave can receive the equivalent of the government-paid portion of the GPML. This equates to eight weeks’ worth for your first and second child, and 16 weeks for your third and subsequent child.
Government-Paid Paternity Benefit (GPPB)
Similarly, working dads who aren’t eligible for paternity leave can receive the equivalent of the government-paid portion of the GPPL. This equates to two weeks’ worth of your average income earned over the 12-month period before Baby’s birth.
Government-Paid Adoption Benefit (GPAB)
If you are an adoptive mum who isn’t eligible for AL, you can receive the cash equivalent based on your average income over the 12-month period before the adoption. This equates to eight weeks’ worth for your first and second child, and 12 weeks for your third and subsequent child.
Don’t Worry, Be a Happy Mummy!
Did you know that your employer is liable to pay the maternity leave benefits due you if they were to dismiss you without sufficient cause during your pregnancy? The same is true for retrenchments. This is as long as you’ve been at your job for at least three continuous months, and have a doctor’s certification on your pregnancy before being served notice.
Furthermore, it is also an offence if your employer dismisses you while you’re on your rightful maternity leave. So do make the most of your maternity leave entitlements and spend more valuable time with Baby without worrying that your job is at stake.
By the way, you are only eligible for the abovementioned parenting leave schemes if your child is a Singapore citizen, and for GPPL, if the father is legally married to the child’s mother. If you’re self-employed, you can apply for your entitlements at www.profamilyleave.gov.sg. Find more details on maternity leave and paternity leave schemes in Singapore at www.madeforfamilies.gov.sg.