Statutory Childcare Leave in Singapore
Taking care of your kids while juggling a full-time job is no easy task. The good news is, working parents in Singapore are entitled to childcare leave if they happen to have children who are aged 7-years and below, although the amount of childcare leave provided would depend on whether they are covered by the Childcare Development Co-Savings Act (CDCA) or the Employment Act.
The Purpose of Childcare Leave
Childcare leave is designed for parents to spend time with their children on the occasions that they need it the most. For example, parents are able to utilize this leave when they need to look after their child because the child is sick, bring the child for the required health checkups or accompany a child for the first day of school.
Childcare leaves which are not used up will be considered lapse once the 12-month period is over and unfortunately, this type of leave has no convert to cash options. Childcare leaves also cannot be transferred when an employee moves on from one job to the next, nor is the leave transferrable within spouses. So, if you don’t want your childcare leaves to lapse, it would be best to use them when you can.
What Happens Under the CDCA Act?
CDCA is available and here to assist busy, working parents by entitling them to Childcare Leave provided that they fulfil the following requirements:
- The child in question must be a Singaporean
- The biological parents are lawfully married (this includes divorced and widowed parents)
- The parent must have worked for the company for a minimum of 3 consecutive months
- The parent is a full-time, part-time, contract or temporary employee with the company (this includes managerial, executive and confidential staff positions with the company).
For parents who are self-employed, Childcare Leave can still be granted provided the following requirements are met:
- The child is a Singaporean
- If the self-employed parent has experienced a loss of income because they are not able to engage in the business during the childcare leave period
- If the business of the parents has been in operations for a minimum of three consecutive months
Under the CDCA, a full-time employee is entitled to six days per year of childcare leave, irrespective of the number of children that they have. Part-time, temporary and contract employees are entitled to a minimum of two days leave per year, on a pro-rated basis equivalent to that of a full-time employee.
What Happens Under the Employment Act?
If the parents are unable to meet the requirements stipulated in the CDCA, there is another alternative available – the Employment Act. The qualifying requirement to be covered by this act is that the parents have to be working for the company for a minimum of three consecutive months.
Under this act, the full-time working parents are entitled to two days leave per year, irrespective of the number of children that they have. For part-time, contract and temporary employees who have worked for a minimum of three consecutive months, the leave entitlement should be done on a pro-rated basis, based on the amount of working hours to an equivalent full-time employee.