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Childcare Leave 

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Part IX of the Employment Act and Part III of the Child Development Co-Savings Act provide childcare leave entitlements for employees.


Eligibility & entitlement under the Child Development Co-Savings Act

An employee is entitled to 6 days of childcare leave per year if he/she is covered under the Child Development Co-Savings Act. The Child Development Co-Savings Act covers all parents of Singapore citizens, including managerial, executive or confidential staff if all three of the following conditions are met:

  1. Child is below 7 years old;
  2. Child is a Singapore Citizen;
  3. Parent must have served his or her employer for a continuous duration of at least 3 calendar months;
    or
    For a parent who is self-employed, he or she must have been engaged in a particular business, trade, profession for a continuous duration of at least 3 calendar months; and have lost income as a result of not engaging in the trade, business, profession or vocation during the child care leave period.

The first 3 days of childcare leave will be employer-paid and the last three days Government-paid (capped at $500 per day, including CPF). Regardless of the number of children, the total childcare leave entitlement for each parent is capped at six days per year until the year the child turns seven years old.

The number of days of childcare leave that a working parent can benefit from will add up to a total of 42 days over a seven-year period.

If an employee has worked less than a year

The leave year for childcare leave will be any 12-month period as agreed by both employer and employee. If there is no agreement, the leave year will be the calendar year by default.

For employees who are entitled to 6 days of Childcare leave per year, employers may pro-rate the leave based on the duration of employment, subject to a minimum of 2 days. The tables below indicate the number of childcare leave days an employee is eligible for if he/she serves for less than 1 year of service:

For new hires in the first year of employment:

Number of completed months of service Eligible childcare leave (days)
1 Not eligible
2 Not eligible
3 2
4 2
5 3
6 3
7 4
8 4
9 5
10 5
11 6
12 6

For termination of contract in the last year of employment

Number of completed months of service in the last year of employment before termination Eligible childcare leave (days)
1 0 (if employee has worked with employer for less than three months)
2 (if employee has worked with employer for more than three months)
2
3 2
4 2
5 3
6 3
7 4
8 4
9 5
10 5
11 6
12 6

Part-time, temporary, contract and probationary employees

The childcare leave entitlement should be adjusted for part-time employees based on the number of working hours, so that their entitlement is equivalent to those of full-time employees and subject to a minimum of 2 days.

Average number of hours a week which the part-time employee is required to work
---------------------------------------------------
Average number of hours a week which a similar full-time employee is required to work
x number of days of childcare leave that a similar full-time employee is subjected to, based on his duration of employment x Number of hours a day which a similar full-time employee is required to work

 

Illustration

An existing part-time employee is required to work an average of four hours a week, and a similar existing full-time employee is required to an average of eight hours a day and 44 hours a week, the entitlement of the part-time employee to paid childcare leave is:

4/44 x 6 x 8 = 4.4 hours (subject to minimum of two days)

The part time employee will be entitled to 2 days of childcare leave, equivalent to four hours each day.


Eligibility & entitlement under the Employment Act

Parents of non-citizens covered under the Employment Act are entitled to 2 days of childcare leave per year if:

  • The child (including legally adopted children or stepchildren) is below seven years of age; and
  • The employee has worked for the employer for at least 3 months.

Childcare leave for each parent is capped at 2 days per year regardless of the number of qualifying children.

Part-time, temporary, contract and probationary employees

Fixed-term contract/temporary/part-time/probationary employees are entitled to childcare leave, provided an employee has served the employer for a period of not less than 3 months.

Part-time employees' childcare leave entitlement are calculated as follows:

Number of hours a week which the part-time employee is required to work x 52
-------------------------------------------------------
Number of hours a week which a similar full-time employee is required to work x 52
x 2 days of childcare leave x Number of hours a day which a similar full-time employee is required to work

Application of childcare leave

An employee has full flexibility to use the childcare leave to spend time with his/her child. A child medical certificate is not required. For example, the employee can use the leave to accompany a child on the first day of school, or care for the child personally should the usual care arrangements fall through.

An employee should give the employer early notice of his/her intention to take childcare leave. Leave is subject to the employer's approval.

The employer should discuss with the employee and mutually agree on a suitable time to take the childcare leave. If the employee needs the leave to attend to matters that cannot be postponed (e.g. child immunisation, school registration), the employer is strongly encouraged to grant the leave.

Childcare leave is not transferable between spouses. Unused childcare leave by any one party will lapse at the end of each agreed 12-month period.

If the employee changes employer, he will not be able to carry over any unused childcare leave to the new company. The new company should grant the employee childcare leave according to the statutory requirement after he has worked for him/her for more than 3 months.

Unused childcare leave at the end of the yearly entitlement period will lapse and cannot be encashed.

The childcare leave entitlement is 6 days per year if the employee has worked for at least 3 months with the employer. Employers may pro-rate childcare leave based on the duration of employment, subject to a minimum of 2 days. The 2 days of childcare leave under the Employment Act cannot be pro-rated.

Childcare leave cannot be used to offset the notice period for termination of employment. However, if an employee applies for childcare leave during the notice period, the employer is encouraged to grant the leave. The days of childcare leave taken will not add to the notice period.

Extended Childcare Leave

In addition to the 6 days of child care leave given to parents with children below the age of 7, (with the first 3 days paid by the employer and the remaining 3 days paid by the Government), the Government recognises that working parents will also need time away from work to see to their children’s needs when they are in primary school.

From 1 May 2013, working parents are eligible for 2 days of extended child care leave every year if:

  • The youngest child is aged 7–12 years (inclusive);
  • The child is a Singapore Citizen;

AND

  • The parent has served the employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months;

OR

  • The parent is a self-employed and have been engaged in a particular business, trade or profession for a continuous period of at least 3 months, and have lost income as a result of not engaging in your business, trade or profession during the child care leave period.

These 2 days of extended child care leave will be paid for by the Government (capped at $500 per day, inclusive of CPF contributions). 

For parents with children in both age groups i.e. those below 7 years, as well as those between 7 and 12 years, the total paid child care leave for each parent is a maximum of 6 days per year.

Claims and reimbursement

For information on claims and reimbursement procedures, please refer to the eCitizen website.

Last updated on 22 September 2014 12:25:55