Expecting Parents In Singapore: What You Need To Know About Your Maternity Rights

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Are you a pregnant woman working in Singapore? Congratulations! You have certain rights and privileges that come with your employment, including maternity leave and medical benefits. In this blog post, we’ll tell you what you need to know about your maternity rights in Singapore. So sit back, relax, and read on!

Singapore’s total birth count and total fertility rate, according to studies, were 38,590 and 1.1 percent, respectively. The government has actively adopted numerous programs to encourage couples to have more children in order to boost these low numbers.

One such program is the Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML), which provides qualified mothers with a government-paid term of maternity leave. The program was recently updated to help more working mothers cope with the stress of having children.

The government has also relieved some of the strain on businesses when their female employees have children by paying for maternity leave. These safeguards aim to protect female employees who are pregnant from being fired unfairly by corporations wanting to save money.

As a result, it is critical for both employees and employers to be aware of their entitlement advantages so that they do not become apprehensive about what should be a happy occasion.

What Are The Maternity Benefits And Who Is Eligible?

There are two types of employees in Singapore who are eligible for maternity leave.

The Child Development Co-Savings Act applies to the first group of employees. This category is for women whose kid was born in Singapore and is a Singapore citizen at the time of birth or will become Singapore citizen within the next 12 months.

The other group is women, who are entitled to maternity benefits under the Employment Act if their kid is not a Singapore citizen.

What are the advantages of having a child who is a Singapore Citizen?

The first group is entitled to 16 weeks of government-paid maternity leave if the kid is a Singapore citizen, regardless of the mother’s nationality (GPML).

This is granted that she has worked for the employer for a continuous period of 3 months prior to the child’s birth, or that she has engaged in her work for a continuous duration of 3 months and has lost income during the maternity leave period if she is a self-employed person.

If an employee is having their first or second child, companies will also cover up to 8 weeks of maternity leave. The government will cover the entire 16 weeks of maternity leave for employees who have their third or subsequent kid.

When Child Isn’t a Singapore Citizen

When the kid is not a Singapore citizen, the mother is only entitled to a minimum of 12 weeks of maternity leave, as stipulated by the Employment Act.

If the mother has fewer than two living children at the time of delivery, the employer is only required to pay for the first 8 weeks of leave, with the following 4 weeks of maternity leave being taken as unpaid leave, depending on the work contract.

This also means that maternity leave for children who are not Singapore citizens is not covered by the government.

These advantages are only accessible to a working mother who is covered by the Employment Act and has worked for her employer for at least three months before childbirth.

When Can You Take Maternity Leave?

Eligible mothers may begin their first 8 weeks of continuous maternity leave as early as 28 days before their child’s the due date of birth or as late as the day of the child’s birth, as mutually agreed upon between the employer and employee.

The remaining 4 or 8 weeks of maternity leave, depending on the mother’s category must be completed within 12 months of the child’s birth.

The remaining leave might be taken as a continuous block immediately following the first eight weeks, or as a non-consecutive block as agreed upon by the company and employee.

This gives mothers more freedom to return to work and work with their employers to continue utilizing maternity leaves to care for their kids after they have given birth.

How Are Maternity Leaves Calculated?

When received in a lump sum, maternity leave comprises all non-working days, public holidays, and sick leave.

However, if a female employee chooses to use and consume her maternity leave in a flexible manner, the number of days she is entitled to be equivalent to the number of working days she would be away if she used and consumed it in a block.

When Can An Employer Refuse To Provide Maternity Leave?

It is illegal for an employer to refuse to provide maternity leave to a female employee who qualifies for it. Employees who have been wronged can seek help from the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM).

However, if the female employee does not provide at least one week’s notice before departing on maternity leave, the employer has the right to pay only half of the salary during maternity leave.

How Much Can Employers Claim for Maternity Leave?

Under the Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) scheme, businesses can seek reimbursement from the government for extended maternity leave offered to female employees.

If it is the female employee’s first or second child, the company must pay for the first eight weeks of maternity leave.

Is Maternity Leave Available to Short-Term Contract Employees?

Eligible working mothers who are on short-term contracts, such as gig economy workers, or whose contracts have expired before the birth of their child and have worked at least 90 days in the last 12 months can claim cash benefits of up to $40,000 per child under the Government-Paid Maternity Benefit (GPMB) scheme in lieu of the leave they would have otherwise received under the GPML.

For the first and second children, the government will pay for 56 days of the working mother’s salary at a rate of $10,000 per 28 days.

In addition, for the third and subsequent children, the government will cover 112 days of the working mother’s salary at the same capped rate.

Paternity Leave for Fathers?

Paternity leave is granted to fathers. Working fathers are entitled to two weeks of paternity leave, which must be taken within 12 months of the child’s birth.

Furthermore, under the Government-Paid Shared Parental Leave (SPL) scheme, a working mother can share a minimum of one week and up to four weeks of her maternity leave with the working father from the date of the child’s birth.

The father, who must be legally married to the working mother, can use his accrued leave in one continuous block or as agreed upon by the company and employee.

The government will reimburse the leave at the same capped rate as the working mother, up to $2,500 per week.

As a new parent, you want to know that your employer is investing in providing benefits for their employees.

This way the company has an investment into not only themselves but also those who work under them and will grow with time as well!

The best thing we can do as mothers or fathers at home? Investing wisely so our families are taken care of when it comes down right away. 

Share this post with your fellow co-parents will appreciate the heads up, and you’ll be doing each other a favor by helping each other out.