Singapore Labour Law: Working Hours, Leaves & Vacations

Before you decide to live and work here in Singapore, there are certain things that you need to know first which include labour terms and conditions which include your working hours, leaves, as well as vacations.

In this post, we will share some of the basic provisions of the Singapore Labour laws regarding working hours, leaves, as well as vacations. If you’re planning to go to Singapore for work, or if you’re already employed here, you may want to take note of some of the key points that we will emphasize in this helpful article.

Leave and Vacation of Workers in Singapore

Disclaimer: All citations and references in this article have been lifted from Singapore’s Employment Act which is regulated by the Ministry of Manpower. All information used and shared through this content is specifically intended for information-sharing only. To learn more about the employees’ official leaves and vacations under the Japanese Employment Act of Singapore, you may refer to the MOM’s resource material for foreign workers available here.

Working Hours and Holiday Leave (Part IV of the Employment Act) (These provisions, however, do not apply to foreign managers and executives)

Normal hours of work are based on the agreed upon contract of service.

Typical work arrangements would have employees work using the following contractual hours:

  • For those working five (5) days or less a week, they need to work for up to nine (9) hours a day or 44 hours a week.
  • For those who work for more than five (5) days a week, they are required to work for up to eight (8) hours a day or 44 hours per week.

An employee is NOT allowed to work for more than 12 hours in a day and he/she is given one (1) rest day per week. Employees are NOT required to work continuously for six (6) hours without a break. However, in situations where employees are required to work continuously for up to eight (8) hours, at least a 45-minute break should be provided for meal time.

If an employee is made to work in excess of the statutory working hours or as stated in the contract, the employee can ask for overtime pay if they fall under the following categories:

  • A non-workman earning up to $2,500 where the overtime rate payable is capped in this salary level (of up to $2,500 or an hourly rate of$11.80).
  • A workman earning up to $4,500

Note: For overtime work, the employer should pay his/her employee at least 1.5 times the basic pay rate of the employee. Payment should also be made within 14 days after the final day of the salary period. Employees are NOT allowed to work overtime beyond 72 hours per week. Work on rest day or public holidays are NOT included in the 72-hour limit.

Overtime work on a rest day is computed as follows:

(Hourly basic rate of pay x 1.5 x Number of hours worked overtime) + (Rest day or public holiday pay)

Annual Leave with Pay

Employees who are covered by the Employment Act and have worked for at least three (3) months under a single employer are entitled to paid annual leave.

Sick Leave with Pay

Employees who are covered by the Employment Act and have worked for at least three (3) months under a single employer are entitled to paid sick leave. To avail this benefit, the employee must inform the employer about his/her absence within 48 hours, and the cause of absence should be certified by a company doctor, a company-approved doctor or government doctor.

Those who have worked for at least six (6) months under one employer get full entitlement to paid sick and hospitalization leave (14 days for paid sick and 60 days for paid hospitalization). The 14-day paid sick leave is included in the 60 days of hospitalization.

Qualified employees who have been certified by a company-accredited or government doctor to go on paid sick or hospitalization leave are allowed to recuperate in an acute hospital facility, a community hospital or at home.

The provisions and coverage of a country’s labour laws should be made clear to all employees regardless of race or educational attainment. In a country such as Singapore where inclusivity and fair treatment is upheld, employees are given rightful access to benefits and their rights as employees in the country.

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