SINGAPORE: In Parliament this week, Senior Minister of State for Manpower Koh Poh Koon said that at present, there are no plans to review the annual leave entitlements. However, he encouraged employers to review the employment benefits they offer “to better attract and retain talent” in Singapore’s tight labour market.

Dr Koh said this in response to a question from PAP Member of Parliament Louis Ng Kok Kwang (Nee Soon GRC). Mr Ng asked when the minimum annual leave entitlement of seven days under the Employment Act of 1968 for eligible employees would be reviewed.

He followed this up by asking what factors the Ministry of Manpower would consider in determining whether the minimum number of annual leave days should be increased.

While Dr Koh answered Mr Ng’s question in the negative, he underlined that the yearly allotment for leave days should be seen alongside other leave days that also support employees in balancing work and personal needs, including public holidays, sick leave, and parental leave.

See also  Foreign workers: MOM is right. Well done. Temasek and MAS can go and fly their foreigner kites elsewhere

Read also: In Full: PM Lee promotes double-paid paternity leave in Lunar New Year message

Employees in Singapore are entitled to 11 paid public holidays, and paid sick leave, depending on period of service, may be as many as 14 days for paid outpatient sick leave and 60 days of paid hospitalization leave (which includes the 4 days paid outpatient sick leave entitlement).

Dr Koh also noted that parental leave was just recently enhanced. Last September, with the passing of the Child Development Co-Savings Bill (Amendment) increased paid paternity leave as well as unpaid infant care leave.

“Beside employees’ needs, reviews of leave entitlements must also take into account the impact on business costs,” he added.

He also said that under the Employment Act, the number of annual leave days goes up by one day per year of service with the same employer. In 2022, more than 90 per cent of ull-time resident employees aged 25 to 64 in Singapore had more than seven days of annual leave, Dr Koh added, citing statistics from MOM’s survey on employees’ working conditions.

See also  Stickies Bar boss says employees will eventually receive salaries, but workers are left hanging

In that year, 64.6 per cent of full-time resident employees from the ages of 25 to 64 had at least 15 days of annual leave, an increase from 61.1 per cent in 2018. /TISG

Read related: Jamus Lim makes the case for parental care leave, especially for singles