Finance & Compliance

Guide to Sick Leave Entitlement and Eligibility in Singapore

Dalton Hsu

Oct 18, 2023
In an era of viruses and bacteria, no one is immune to all sorts of illnesses and diseases, even if we have come to an end of the Covid pandemic (fingers crossed!)

Sick leave exists in almost every country, because we, as humans, feel unwell all the time - perhaps to an extent where we are not able to perform work duties, therefore needing a day or two off.

Who is Entitled to Paid Sick Leave?

We hereby offer a brief introduction of Singapore’s sick leave law.

According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), an employee is eligible to paid sick leave if the following criteria are met:

  • The employee has been with the company for at least 3 months
  • The employee is covered under the Employment Act
  • The employee has informed the employer within 48 hours of absence

Paid outpatient sick leave

To apply for paid outpatient sick leave (medical leave), an employee must first get certified as unable to work by a registered doctor or dentist.

(Quick definition, the term “outpatient” means that you are sick but doesn’t have to stay at the hospital overnight)

Paid hospitalization leave

Paid hospitalization leave is meant to cover the period when an employee is receiving hospital care, whether it's because they're warded, underwent day surgery, or need to stay in bed for some time.

(Source : Antoni Shkraba)

If an employee needs rest or further medical treatment after discharged to recover. They might also be eligible for this benefit.

Keep in mind that paid hospitalization leave is not the same as paid outpatient sick leave. According to MOM, in order to qualify for paid hospitalization leave, employee must be:

  • Warded in a hospital as an in-patient or for day surgery
  • Quarantined under any written law
  • Certified by a medical practitioner who can admit patients into an approved hospital, including medical practitioners from national specialty centres and ambulatory surgical centres

(And no, if you opt for a cosmetic surgery, aka enhancing your looks, more than likely you won’t be eligible for paid sick leave)

How many days of paid sick leave does the employee get?

It depends on the length of service. The employee can get up to 14 days of paid outpatient leave and 60 days of hospitalization leave, if worked more than 6 months in the same company.

Number of months of service completed Paid outpatient sick leave (days) Paid hospitalisation leave (days)
3 5 15
4 8 30
5 11 45
6 and thereafter 14 60

Note here that the 14 days of paid outpatient leave is included in the 60 days of paid hospitalization leave. Which means that paid sick leave is “capped” at 60 days a year.

For example, if an employee who works in your company for 1 year. And he / she is already taken 5 days of paid outpatient leave in this year. The number of days of hospitalization leave he / she can take is 55 days.

How much does the employee get paid during paid sick leave?

Paid hospitalization leave
- paid at the gross rate of pay. Namely, it excludes most bonuses, allowances, and OT payments.

Outpatient sick leave - paid at gross rate of pay, excluding shift allowance.

We have covered the most basic and the most frequently asked questions by employees.

Hope that your company is using sophisticated HR software that automatically calculates paid sick days. Most importantly, stay healthy everyone.

Learn More about Swingvy Leave management software

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