If you're expecting a child, it's only natural to wonder about maternity leave. And why not, it's one of the biggest milestones in pregnancy - going on maternity leave. While it's important to educate yourself about the Maternity laws in Singapore, it's also critical to discuss your options with your employer early in your pregnancy.
In Singapore, legislations such as the Employment Act and the Child Development Co-Savings Act grant certain protection and benefits for mothers.
- The Employment Act applies to employees (either Singaporean or foreign) but does not apply to managers and executives, seamen, domestic workers or civil servants.
- If you are a manager or any of the above (executives, seamen, domestic workers or civil servants), you may still be protected by the Child Development Co-Savings Act.
- The Child Development Co-Savings Act grants greater benefits to the new parents. An employee may qualify for both the Child Development Co-Savings Act and the Employment Act. In this case, she may claim for the greater benefits afforded by the former.
As long as the pregnant employee is covered under the Employment Act, she will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave immediately after delivery. This will allow her to recover from the physical trauma of delivery to her body, and also to care for her new born child. This duration is the same regardless of whether the working mother is unmarried, non-Singaporean (whether foreigner or permanent resident) or if the child is not a Singapore citizen.
If the employee is also covered under the Child Development Co-Savings Act (i.e. she is married and her child is a Singapore citizen, among other things), she will be entitled to not just 12 but an additional four weeks of maternity leave. These four weeks can be taken immediately before the delivery of the child, giving the employee time to rest and prepare for the delivery.
Subject to mutual agreement between the employer and employee, the last 8 weeks (9th to 16th week) of maternity leave can also be taken flexibly over a period of 12 months from the date of confinement.
To be entitled to full pay during maternity leave, you must have served your employer for at least 3 months before the birth of the child. You are only entitled to full pay during maternity leave for your first two children.
Working fathers, including those who are self-employed, are entitled to share 1 week out of the 16 weeks’ maternity leave, subject to the agreement of the mother and provided that they meet the following criteria under Child Development Co-Savings Act:
- The child is a Singapore Citizen;
- Mother qualifies for Government-Paid Maternity Leave;
- Father is lawfully married to the child’s mother.
For the more information, you may check out the following link.
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