10 Facts About Your Annual Leave in S’pore You Probably Didn’t Know Of


Last Updated on 2020-12-29 , 6:07 pm

If you’re already tired from working, you’re not alone.

Think about the holidays ahead, that should motivate you to strive on.

But if you’re extra stressed and need that extra push, here are ten facts about annual leave that you probably didn’t know.

(You might get more time off after knowing your rights!)

Before that, if you prefer to watch a video about this topic instead, we have granted your wish here (do subscribe to our YouTube channel for more informative videos!):

Still here? Oh, so you prefer to read. Well, here goes.

1.Half-day leave is considered a full-day leave

If you’re lucky, you’ll be entitled to half-day on occasions like CNY Eve.

And if you didn’t know, Saturdays are considered half-day work day.

If you take leave on such half-days, you’re technically taking a full-day leave.

It’s kinda assumed that whatever leave you take will be a full-day unless you take the effort to inform the company about it.

Then and again, this may differ from company to company, so please check before you decide to take leave!

2. Minimum annual leave must increase every year

The common understanding is that minimum annual leave is 7 days.

For companies that abide by this, they’re supposed to increase the minimum annual leave each year.

So for example, if your annual leave in 2018 is 7 days, by 2019 it should be 8 days, and 9 days in 2020.

So for those of you young people who’re not staying for long-term, here’s something to consider.



3.Balance leave: Cash out, carried forward, or forfeited?

If you’re just like me, a dedicated servant at your company, then you probably don’t take much leave.

But being protected by the Employment Act, you should know your rights to annual leave. So then you wonder: Cash out or carry forward?

Well, there’s no perfect answer to this.

The only way you can find out is to go dig out your employment contract and look through every single line.


If nothing’s said about it, that means it’s back to the “default setting”.

Default setting: Your annual leave will be forfeited if you “do not use your annual leave within 12 months after the end of 12 months of continuous service.”

Now you know, you gotta look through every single line carefully before you sign!

4.Leave entitlement may be forfeited if you’re absent from work

Do you know of anyone who only comes to work as and when he/she feels like it?

If one is absent from work without reason or permission for more than 20% of the time, his/her leave entitlement will be forfeited.

But I think by then he/she already kena fired, so tell them before it’s too late!


5.Working for less than 12 months

If you’re gonna quit, make sure you quit at the right time.

You see, the number of annual leave you get, if you work less than 12 months, is based on the number of full months that you work, including the notice period.

Okay, let’s explain it using numbers:

Let’s say you worked for 5 months and you’re entitled to 12 days of annual leave.

Upon serving your notice, you would have already worked for 6 months.


And that’s what you’re gonna get: 6 days of annual leave.

If you work only 6 months and 29 days, that’s considered as 6 months as well.

And you’re only getting 6 days of annual leave.

Do your maths, people!

6.Number of average annual leave in Singapore

According to statistics from a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) survey back in 2014, up to 57.6% of people have annual leave of 14 days and below.

31.7% have 15-21 days while 10.7% have over 21 days.

7. All about marriage, compassionate and urgent leave

Marriage or compassionate leave can be annual leave: Yes and No

Again, take a look at your employment contract. If you’re given marriage or compassionate leave, then they’re not considered annual leave.


However, if there isn’t anything like that on the contract, then when you take leave to get married, it will be considered as annual leave.

Urgent leave can be annual leave: Yes

As for urgent leave, it’s usually annual leave.

8.If your shift is 12 hours, it still means 1 day of leave

The normal number of working hours for an office worker is around 8 hours.

If you’re working on shifts, let’s say a 12-hour shift, then you’ll get 12 hours of leave when you apply for a day off.

9.You’re entitled to annual leave even if you’re on probation

Most companies have probation periods of three to six months and those on probation will probably be confused with their entitlement to annual leave.

As long as you’ve worked at the company for more than 3 months you’re entitled to annual leave.

Even if your probation is six-months long (poor you), you’ll still get your annual leave!

And here’s the best part: after working for three months, you’ll be prorated with your well deserved annual leave!

If your annual leave entitlement is 12 days, you’ll get three days annual leave the moment you’ve worked for three months.

All you need is patience.

10.Reason for leave isn’t compulsory

When you’re asked about the reason for your leave, do remember that it’s not compulsory.

So if you feel like just taking a day off cos you need more sleep, go ahead!

You have the law on your side.

Now, once again, if you prefer to watch instead, here you go.

Come on people, we all gotta learn to protect ourselves!

Featured Image: joyfull / Shutterstock.com