Maternity leaves are not just for recuperating from and preparing for childbirth. It is also a time when you bond and build your first memories with your newborn. Fortunately for us in Singapore, the Government has regulated maternity leaves. Thus, all employers are mandated to give expecting mums paid leaves given that they meet the eligibility criteria. Getting paid while spending time with your new bundle of joy is everything an expecting mum could dream about. You can use all the extra money to purchase all baby essentials, or perhaps use it to prepare for your child’s future. In this article, we will share A Quick Guide on Paid Maternity Leave in Singapore.
This post was last updated on 26 January 2023.
A Quick Guide on Paid Maternity Leave in Singapore
Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML)
Eligible mothers can enjoy up to 16 weeks of maternity leave. This could be taken within 12 months from the child’s date of birth (inclusive of date of birth).
Who are eligible for maternity leave in Singapore?
You are eligible for GPML if you meet all of the following requirements:
- Your child is a citizen of Singapore.
- If you’re employed, you must be working with your employer for at least 3 months before you give birth to your child. However, please remember to inform your employer at least a week before your intended leave. If not, you’ll only be guaranteed half of your entitlement, unless you have a good reason for failing to report.
- If you’re self-employed, you must have worked for at least 3 continuous months, and have lost your income during the maternity period.
If you were not able to meet these 3 criteria for GPML (i.e., the child is not a Singaporean citizen), you may consider looking through Government-Paid Maternity Benefit instead.
How much will you get if you are eligible for a paid maternity leave?
1. For eligible employed mums
Your employer is required to pay your gross monthly salary during your maternity leave. They can claim reimbursement from the Government in accordance with the following GPML scheme:
- For your 1st and 2nd child: Your employer will pay for the 1st 8 weeks of your maternity leave and the Government will pay for the latter 8 weeks.
- For your 3rd child and subsequent child: The Government will pay for all 16 weeks of your maternity leave.
The reimbursement from the Government is capped at S$10,000 per 4 weeks. For example, your 1st or 2nd child will entitle you to a total of S$20,000 from the Government (8 weeks).
2. For eligible self-employed mums
The Government will pay you the amount of your income lost during your maternity leave period. This will be calculated from your relevant Notice of Assessment from Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). The same scheme from above is applied.
You can apply for your claims here.
- Birth of twins. This will be treated as a single delivery, so you will not receive double maternity benefits.
- Stillbirth. If you meet the eligibility criteria from above and yet your baby died shortly after birth (or stillborn), you will still be entitled a full maternity leave. The stillbirth will then be counted in the GPML scheme for your next pregnancy.
- Premature birth. You will be eligible for maternity leave starting from the date when your baby is born. It could also be earlier, but you’d have to communicate it with your employer.
- Employed mum – on probation. You will still be eligible for maternity leave, given that you have worked for your employer for at least 3 months.
- Employed mum – contract, temporary, or part-time. You will still be eligible for maternity leave. You will be paid your gross daily rate for each day that you would normally have been required to work.
- Foreigner working in Singapore. You will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, given that you have worked for your employer for at least 3 months.
You may read through here for more information.
When to take your maternity leave?
In Singapore, you have the option of taking your maternity leave either in one block or spread it out over 12 months. If you wish for the latter, you will need to discuss it with your employer first.
For example, if you are eligible for a 16-week paid maternity leave, you can take it continuously, starting from 4 weeks before your delivery. For the spread-out option, you can start your leave 4 weeks before your delivery, then stretch it out for 8 weeks after you give birth. Then, the last 8 weeks can be taken anytime within 12 months after your birth.
You may also consider arranging for half-day shifts (or shortened week shifts) so you can further stretch out your leave. Ultimately, this would depend on your agreement with your employer. Do note that your employer must know about maternity leave as soon as possible or at least 1 week before your intended leave.
If you need more help in planning your maternity leave dates, you may click here.
Shared Parental Leave (SPL)
Dads also get paid leaves (read below for more information). However, it may not be as long as your maternity leave. So, if you and your partner feel like you both need time to spend time with your new baby, you may opt to take a Shared Parental Leave. This is especially helpful if you have trouble with your childcare arrangements at home. Basically, the dad can share up to 4 weeks of the mum’s maternity leave. The mum will then be left with 12 weeks’ worth of paid maternity leave. To be eligible for SPL, the dad must be legally married to the mum.
Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)
As stated above, dads could get paid leaves as well, given that they meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Your child is a Singaporean citizen.
- You are/were lawfully married to your child’s mother.
- Employed dad who has worked with your employer for at least 3 months prior your child’s birth.
- Self-employed dad who has been engaged to your practice/business for continuous 3 months prior to your child’s birth and has lost income due to active participation in the mum’s maternity period. you must have worked for at least 3 continuous months, and have lost your income during the maternity period.
If you are eligible for GPPL, you will be entitled to a 2-week paid leave (may be extended if you and your wife would like to claim SPL), which could be taken either continuously or spread out within 12 months of your child’s birth. For more information on GPPL, click here. Meanwhile, those who didn’t qualify for GPPL may check if they qualify for Government-Paid Paternity Benefit instead.
Bonus: Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) & Extended Childcare Leave (ECL)
Did you know that you can also take paid leaves even if your child is a bit older? Eligible working parents with a Singaporean citizen child below 7 years old are also entitled to 6 days of paid leave (GPCL) every relevant period. Your employer must pay you your gross daily rate for the 1st to 3rd day of your GPCL, while the government will shoulder the 4th to 6th day, capped at $500 per day or a total of $1,500 in any calendar year.
Working parents with children aged 7 to 12 years old (must be Singaporean citizens as well)are also entitled to ECL, which is equivalent to 2 days of paid leave in one calendar year. It’s not much, but I think it’s perfect if you want to extend a family vacation for up to 2 days. The government will pay for both days of your ECL, capped at $500 per day or a total of $1,000 in any calendar year.
Read here for more information.
We hope that our guide on Paid Maternity Leave in Singapore will help you out in your exciting journey as a new mum. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends and family!
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