No plans to raise legal minimum of 7 days annual leave entitlement: Josephine Teo

(PHOTO: Screengrab from Gov.sg YouTube channel)

SINGAPORE —There are no plans currently to increase the minimum legal entitlement of seven days annual leave, said Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will continue to monitor employment trends, both locally and internationally, and regularly review its laws and policies, she added in a written response on Tuesday (6 August).

Teo was responding to parliamentary questions filed by Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng on the rationale behind capping the statutory minimum entitlement for annual leave at seven days, and whether the ministry has plans to increase the number so that Singapore could rank higher among developed nations for annual leave entitlement.

Teo noted that such entitlements vary across developed economies; for instance, countries like the UK and Australia have “relatively more generous provisions”, while the US does not have a federal law regulating paid annual leave.

“The minimum statutory annual leave entitlement in Singapore is comparable to that in jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Taiwan,” she added.

Under the Employment Act in Singapore, the statutory minimum entitlement for annual leave of seven days applies to employees who have worked with their employer for at least three months, but not more than one year.

With each year of service, an employee's statutory entitlement increases, up to 14 days.

She said that Singapore's statutory annual leave entitlements should also be viewed alongside the paid sick leave, childcare leave, and other forms of leave provided for in the country’s laws.

“Employees can use these other forms of leave over and above their annual leave entitlements. In other jurisdictions, such leave may not be available, or fully paid,” Teo added.

A review of the Employment Act was completed last year by the MOM together with the tripartite partners.

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