10 Facts About Annual Leave in S’pore That All Employees Need to Know


Last Updated on 2023-07-08 , 5:04 pm

Understanding Annual Leave in Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide

In the bustling city-state of Singapore, the concept of annual leave is a cherished one. It’s that much-needed respite from the daily grind, a time to rejuvenate and recharge. But how much do you really know about your annual leave rights in Singapore? This article will delve into the intricacies of annual leave in Singapore, addressing key phrases such as “21 days annual leave Singapore”, “can my employer reject my annual leave Singapore”, and “minimum annual leave Singapore”. So, buckle up and let’s dive into the world of annual leave!

The Magic of Annual Leave in Singapore

Everyone adores annual leave! It’s our lifeline when we yearn for a breather. The number of days of paid annual leave we get varies, hinging on our employers’ generosity. Some of us have a modest 7 days, others luxuriate in 14 days (the typical NSF, in fact), and a fortunate few bask in up to 21 days of annual leave in Singapore!

But what else do you comprehend about your annual leave apart from the number of days? Here are ten enlightening facts you need to know, because #weallemployees. If you’re more of a visual learner, we’ve got you covered with a video on this topic:

Can My Employer Reject My Annual Leave in Singapore?

Employees become eligible for paid annual leave only after toiling for at least 3 months with an employer. Employers hold the right to deny paid annual leave if you’ve been with the company for less than 3 months. If your tenure with the employer is less than a year, your leave will be prorated. This brings us to the question, “Can employer reject annual leave Singapore?” The answer is yes, under certain circumstances.

The Minimum Annual Leave in Singapore

The minimum number of paid annual leave is 7 days in Singapore. If you’re receiving more than 7 days of paid annual leave after a year of service, consider yourself fortunate. Most executives and managers enjoy a minimum of 14 paid annual leave days.


However, some individuals working in local companies only have 7 days of paid annual leave, and employers count these towards days when the company is closed for festivals such as Chinese New Year.

Singapore Annual Leave: A Global Perspective

Aside from China and a few other nations, Singapore has one of the lowest minimums at 7 days. Even Zimbabwe boasts a minimum of 22 days paid annual leave, with a maximum of a whopping 90 paid annual leave days per year! Quite a revelation, isn’t it?

Prorated Leave and Notice Periods

Your notice period is factored in when prorated leave is calculated. If you’ve tendered your resignation, your prorated leave should encompass your notice period. Hence, it’s crucial to ensure your employer is doing the right thing and granting you the correct number of prorated leave days.

Half-Day Work and Annual Leave

In some larger companies, employees are allowed to leave work early on the eve of major holidays like Chinese New Year, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. If you take leave during these days, it will be counted as a full day’s leave by law. However, some employers are kind enough to count it as a half-day leave, but that’s entirely at their discretion.

Can Employer Force Employee to Take Annual Leave in Singapore?

Your employer reserves the right to forfeit your leave if you are absent from work without reason or permission for more than 20% of the working days in the months or a year.

It will also be forfeited if you are dismissed from employment on grounds of misconduct.

So while they can’t force you to take annual leave, they can remove it.

Encashment of Leave: A Matter of Employer’s Discretion

Most employers do not encourage the encashment of leave because they want their employees to take time off to spend with their families and friends. If you have unconsumed leave that you fail to take within the 12 months’ period after the end of 12 months of continuous service, your employer can either forfeit the leave or allow you to encash it. Alternatively, some companies allow you to carry them over to the next year.

Shift Workers and Annual Leave

Employees who work shifts exceeding 8 hours are entitled to 1 day of leave equivalent to their actual working day. That means, if an employee works a 12-hour shift for 5 days a week, they should get extra leave of up to 60 hours a week.

Unpaid Annual Leave: Not Governed

Some companies allow their employees to take unpaid leave as part of their company’s benefits. However, unpaid annual leave is subject to the employer’s approval and the employer has the right to deduct your salary accordingly. There are no rules to govern unpaid annual leave.

Annual Leave Does Not Cover Marriage and Compassionate Leave

This is possibly one of the biggest misunderstood clauses in any contract. Marriage and compassionate leave are not part of the annual leave and should not be counted toward your paid annual leave. While it is up to the company to decide whether marriage and compassionate leave are to be given, the usual case is a separate 3 days leave for marriage and compassionate leave that are not counted towards your paid annual leave.

So, there you have it! A comprehensive guide to understanding annual leave in Singapore. Whether it’s “21 days annual leave Singapore” or “can employer reject annual leave Singapore MOM”, we’ve got you covered. Remember, knowledge is power, and understanding your rights as an employee is crucial. Happy holidays!

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