Know Your Rights! Employee Benefits: Off-in-lieu, Paid Leaves, Overtime Pay

3 min read

When you encounter a “Terms and Conditions” page, do you scroll straight to the bottom and click on the “I Agree” button? Yep, me too. (And that’s how I lost my $50 Obike deposit *#^@&#**!@%^!)

Perhaps you’ve also done that while signing a contract for a job offer, and have never really taken a good, detailed look at what’s in it for you, what are the employee benefits and what are your entitlements.

TL;DR: What are your off-day benefits as an employee?

This article seeks to educate you on just that.

 No of Days
(M.O.M guidelines)
No. of Days
(Set by some companies)
Carried forward
to next year?
Public Holidays1111No
Annual Leave7 (min.)14 - 21Yes
Sick Leave1414No
Hospitalisation Leave6060No
Off-in-lieu1-to-12 days off for working on Pub. Hol.No
Compassionate Leavenil≤5No
Birthday Leavenil1No
Marriage Leavenil≤5No
Child Care Leavenil≤6No
Elder Care Leavenil≤6No
SabbaticalsnilHalf/one yearNo
Editor’s note: This guide serves as an introduction for first-time full-time employees and new hires who are just starting to familiarise with the statutory requirements applied to employment contracts. It may not address specialized industries involving manual labour and blue collar workforce. Most contract/part-time employees would have their benefits pro-rated accordingly, but varies with companies.

The Employment Act

The Employment Act is Singapore’s main labour law. It provides for the basic terms and conditions at work for employees covered by the Act. Read more here.

In a latest amendment, the government has dropped the salary cap(currently at ≤$2,000) in the Employment Act so that it covers all workers – including professionals, managers and executives.

As of October 2018, PMETS who draw a salary of ≤$4500 per month are now included under the Employment Act.

We took a look at what people are searching for regarding employment matters:

  1. Official Public Holidays
  2. Salary Calculators (comprehensive SALARY GUIDE here)
  3. Working on a public holiday
  4. Sick Leave
  5. Overtime Calculator
  6. Employee Benefits in Singapore Companies
  7. Part-Time Employees Regulations
  8. Off in Lieu

Working Overtime

Employees that are covered under the Employment Act as above are entitled to work no more than 44 hours per week.

For employees earning above SGD 2,000/month, the above conditions of the Employment Act do not apply and it is free to be determined by agreement between the employee and the employer.

Public Holidays

  • 11 paid public holidays
  1. New Year’s Day
  2. Chinese New Year – first day
  3. Chinese New Year – second day
  4. Hari Raya Puasa
  5. Hari Raya Haji
  6. Good Friday
  7. Labour Day
  8. Vesak Day
  9. National Day
  10. Deepavali
  11. Christmas Day

*If the holiday falls on a rest day, the next working day will be a paid holiday.

Annual Leave

  • Minimum 7 days

It is common practice in Singapore to grant employees 14 days of annual leave, adding 1 extra day for every additional year the employee is with the company. From what we understand, certain companies grant leaves of up to 18 days even!

In special situations such as unconsumed leave, unpaid leave and leave on a half-day of work, employers have certain guidelines put in place. Check with your employer for clarity or read more here.

If you don’t know where to use your annual leave, this should come in handy for 2019:

Long Weekend For 2019 To Maximise All The Public Holidays in Singapore

Sick Leave

  • 14 days of paid sick leave

To be eligible for sick leave, the employee must produce a medical certificate from the company doctor (if one is appointed), a government doctor, or doctor from an approved hospital.

Hospitalisation Leave

  • 60 days of paid hospitalisation leave

Read more: Integrated Shield Plan Comparison

Off in lieu

If you are required to work on a public holiday, your employer should pay you an extra day’s salary or grant you off in lieu on a mutually agreed day.

No fixed structure but several companies follow:

  • 1-1 compensation for no. of days worked in excess

e.g. Attending to a work-related event on a Saturday(non-working day, you get one day off in lieu of your non-working time.

  • 2-1 compensation for no. of days worked in excess on a Public Holiday

e.g. Attending to a work-related event on a Sunday(non-working day, you may get 2 days off in lieu)

In addition, some companies have special days off such as:

  • Compassionate Leave
  • Birthday Leave
  • Marriage Leave
  • Sabbaticals
  • Child Care Leave
  • Elder Care Leave

Most companies in Singapore provide certain non-statutory benefits to their employees, ensuring that their workforce is well looked after.

These benefits could be a game-changer for hiring potential employees, as it speaks for how much a company values talent. Things like compassionate leave and marriage leave also indicate how progressive a company is.

Non-Statutory Benefits and Perks

Beyond off-days and leaves, some common employee benefits include:

Healthcare, well being and personal benefits – Many of Singapore companies offer medical insurance plans that extend to dependants and typically cover personal accident and hospitalization.

Per Diem – For travel related jobs, many companies provide a per-day allowance, transportation allowance or reimbursement of actual expenses while traveling. The per diem amount depends on the place the employee is travelling to.

Relocation package – Most companies provide a relocation allowance to employees who have to move with their family from their home country to Singapore. Some employees come on “full expat” terms, some on “semi expat” terms and some others on “full local” terms.

Employee stock purchase plans – Some companies provide employee stock purchase plans, especially to senior employees.

Other additional perks – Other perks may include: paid corporate memberships, sponsoring employee training programs and educational courses, marriage leave, providing restaurant discount vouchers, mobile phone plans, paid gym/club memberships, organize sporting activities, team outings, staff referral schemes, sabbaticals etc.

From M.O.M’s website:

If you come across any non-compliant employers, you can:

Your identity will be kept strictly confidential.

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