Paid Paternity Leave Doubles in Singapore, Reaches 4 Weeks
Fathers of children born on or after 1 January 2024 can enjoy more time at home with their newborn as paid paternity leave doubles, reaching 4 weeks in Singapore.
The additional two weeks will be on a voluntary basis to begin with. Employers will be reimbursed by the Government if they agree to the additional leave. This allows more time for employers to make the necessary adjustments in terms of manpower and operational challenges. The current paid paternity leave entitlement is two weeks, depending on the employers in question.
What Does This Mean for Working Fathers in Singapore?
As paid paternity leave doubles in Singapore, what does this mean for working fathers? More time at home, for one thing, with the aim to make paternal involvement a norm in society. With studies showing that children with more involved fathers have better emotional, cognitive, and physical outcomes, this is a step in the right direction.
Those who are self-employed in a professional or business can still be eligible for this benefit, provided they have been in the area for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the child is born. The Government intends for the additional two weeks to be a mandatory requirement, and will review the feasibility of the idea in due course.
There will also be the option of taking more unpaid infant care leave, if the parents need it. Currently, parents are allowed to take 6 days per year. This will be increased to 12 days annually for the first two years of the child’s life. Parents will be eligible for this if they have worked for their current employer for a minimum of 3 continuous months.
When Will the New Paid Paternity Leave Be Implemented?
The changes will commence 1 January 2024 for working Singaporean parents who have children aged two and under. Flexible work arrangements is a key factor to help support parents balance their work and family commitments. Therefore, flexi-work arrangements will also be implemented come 2024.
If a staff requests for flexi-work arrangements, employers must consider it in a fair manner.