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Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Increasing Current Minimum Annual Leave Entitlement under Employment Act

Notice Paper No. 389 Of 2014 For The Sitting On 19 January 2015 Question No. 151 For Written Answer

NMP: Mr K Karthikeyan

To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry will consider increasing the current minimum annual leave entitlement of seven days under the Employment Act.


  1. The Employment Act (EA) stipulates minimum labour standards to be complied by all employers and so ought to be kept basic. Under the EA, an employee who has served an employer for at least three months is entitled to seven days of paid annual leave in the first year of service. Subsequently, for every year of service with the same employer, he is entitled to an additional one day’s paid annual leave, up to 14 days. However, employers are encouraged to consider more generous leave benefits as a strategy to attract good workers in this tight labour market.
  2. A 2014 survey by the Ministry of Manpower showed that many companies already provide more days of annual leave than what is legislated. About half of the establishments1 provided more than the minimum of seven days of annual leave for their rank-and-file employees, and 35% already provide 14 days or more.
  3. Employees, who see that their organisations are more generous than just following the minimal provisions of the law to protect the most vulnerable, are likely to be more committed. A more motivated workforce can, in turn, benefit employers in terms of lower absenteeism, higher staff retention as well as better productivity.

1 Data pertains to private sector establishments each with at least 25 employees and the public sector.