Singapore employees covered by the Employment Act who have worked for their employer for at least 3 months, are entitled to paid annual leave days. Paid annual leave days are days that an employee takes off work for any reason, but is paid as if they had worked a regular day. Annual leave days are separated from medical or hospitalisation leave, or other statutory leave benefits.
Singapore Employment Act
The Employment Act is Singapore’s legislation governing the contracts between employers and their employees.
All employees under a contract of service with an employer are covered, with the exception of those employed as a seafarer, domestic worker, statutory board employee or civil servant. Part IV of the employment act provides additional protections for certain groups of workers such as a workman (doing manual labour) earning a basic monthly salary of up to $4,500, or other employees covered by the employment act with a monthly basic salary of up to $2,600. These protections relate to rest days, hours of work, overtime, retirement and retrenchment benefits, annual wage supplements and more.
The purpose of the legislation is to protect Singapore workers from unfair or unsafe working environments, and maintain workplace standards across the board. The legislation covers the duration of employment, from onboarding to termination. The act also sets the standard for certain statutory employee benefits, including paid public holidays, annual leave, and sick leave entitlements. These are baseline requirements for employers to provide, however there is common practice in many organisations to offer above what is legally required, in order to attract top talent.
Statutory Leave Entitlements in Singapore
Requirements of statutory benefits differ by certain groups, including between Citizens/Permanent Residents and visa holders, and are also based on monthly salary. Current statutory requirements for leave entitlement according to the Singapore Employment Act are below.
( Learn more about Sick Leave Entitlement and Eligibility in Singapore )
Paid Annual Leave Allowances Practiced by Companies in Singapore
While the statutory annual leave entitlement for Singapore workers starts at 7 days per year, increasing with service, most companies offer above the standard requirement.
Annual leave allowance and comprehensive medical insurance are the most valued employee benefits for all Singapore workers. Swingvy’s State of Employee Benefits Singapore Survey, 2020
In late 2020, Swingvy interview workers in Singapore to find out the state of employee benefits. Below shows a breakdown of paid annual leave days offered by Singapore companies.
Twenty days was the most common number of paid annual leave days given by Singapore based companies at 25.3% of all responses, followed closely by twenty-one days (21.1%).
Unlimited paid annual leave was offered as a benefit by just 2.6% of respondents companies. This has become a hot topic in HR circles. While some business owners agree that having well rested employees prevents burnout and increases productivity, others still fear that employees will abuse the benefit, and company performance could suffer.
50% of Singapore workers believe companies should provide 25 or more days of paid annual leave.
Swingvy’s State of Employee Benefits Singapore Survey, 2020
While only 5.7% of respondents currently receive over 25 annual leave days, 50% of respondents thought that companies should provide 25 or more days as standard.
The Case for Enhanced Annual Leave Allowances
Enhanced paid leave allowances demonstrates to employees a company's willingness to put their employees first, allowing them to truly enjoy work-life balance. The benefits to the business also often outweigh the additional costs.
Well rested employees leads to greater productivity, greater employee morale, and even cost savings long term with less sickness reported. The reduction in stress associated with having time off can lead to greater overall employee satisfaction and a reduction in staff turnover.
Try Swingvy Leave Management system
Swingvy’s full-suite HR system includes an in-built leave management system, which lets HR administrators set leave entitlements for different groups of employees within the system, with different leave approvers, or multi-level approval workflow options.
Leave can then be applied for within an employee's secure login to the cloud-based hr platform. The free Swingvy mobile HR app also simplifies leave applications. Once a request is made, the approval manager will receive a push-notification to their mobile, and an email notification where they can approve or decline the request.
Approved leave requests will appear in the shared company calendar on the Swingvy platform, giving all employees visibility of who is away. The shared company calendar can be integrated with iCal, Outlook and Google calendars.