Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Parentology
Parenthood Benefits in Singapore: Shared Parental Leave
Government-Paid Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is an effort under the Singaporean government’s package to support new and working parents. In line with leave from Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) or Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL), the SPL programme allows working fathers to share up to 4 weeks of their wife’s GPML or Adoption Leave for Mothers (AL) benefits. It is an extension of paternity leave in Singapore. Shared parental leave examples are common all across Singapore, and the scheme is popular with many new fathers.
SPL can be taken on top of the father’s GPPL or the Government-Paid Parental Benefits (GPPB) programme, which is catered towards fathers who do not qualify under GPPL. This article will cover the eligibility, benefits, and processes surrounding shared parental leave, but first will cover the basics of GPML/AL and GPPL as a background. Shared parental leave MOM is referring to the same programme as well; unfortunately, there is no option for shared paternity leave in Singapore.
GPML/AL, GPPL & SPL Benefits
The short of it is that GPML or AL provides eligible working mothers with up 16 weeks’ worth of leave that is reimbursed by the government. On the other hand, under GPPL, fathers are typically only offered 2 weeks of reimbursed leave. In many modern families, this amount of paternity leave is not enough, and many fathers seek to spend additional time with their families before returning to work.
This is where SPL comes in. As stated above, SPL allows fathers to essentially share the 16 available weeks under their partner’s GPML/AL. Working fathers can take up to 4 of the 16 weeks from their wife’s GPML/AL, increasing their total amount of leave to 6 weeks and decreasing their wife’s amount of leave to 12 weeks. The GPML or AL entitlement can only be shared in weeks (1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks) and not days.
The start date of the leave is the same as under GPPL – no earlier than the child’s date of birth or date listed on the Formal Intent to Adopt (FIA). It must be taken within 12 months from the child’s date of birth or FIA date as well. Working fathers may take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks from their wife’s GPML/AL either in one continuous block or non-continuously as long as arrangements are agreed upon.
This leave is reimbursed on a pro-rated basis (depending on your salary) and is capped at $2,500 per week or a total of $10,000 for all 4 weeks.
Unlike GPPL, you do not need to have worked for a minimum number of months with your employer to qualify under the scheme.
For live natural births, the following conditions must be met: firstly, your wife must be eligible for GPML and you must be married to them. SPL can only be consumed after you are married to your child’s mother, and your child must also be a Singapore Citizen either at birth or within 12 months of their birth.
In the cases of stillbirth, SPL can be taken as well. Either or both parents must be Singaporean Citizens in this case, and you were lawfully married to the child’s mother between conception and stillbirth.
For adoptive fathers, there are additional and different conditions. For one, the adoption application should have been a joint application with the child’s adoptive mother. If your wife is not listed on the application, you will not be able to take SPL. In this case, instead of GPML, your wife must qualify for Adoption Leave for Mothers (AL) instead. Like the above cases, you must be either currently or previously married to the child’s adoptive mother as well. If the child is not a Singaporean Citizen, either you or your spouse must be a Singaporean Citizen to qualify for SPL as well.
How do the payments work?
Like with GPML, AL, and GPPL, your employers should be paying you as per normal during this period. That is to say that you should not need to submit anything to the governmental authorities whatsoever in regards to these schemes.
Once the leave has been completed under these programmes, your employer will in turn submit a claim for reimbursement of payment from the government. This interaction and claim will be between your employer and the government, and if approved the reimbursement will be provided directly to the employer.
Application, Claims, and Reimbursement
Once you have decided on the SPL arrangement with your wife, you should notify your employer as quickly as possible through your company channels. The shared parental leave application in Singapore is quite straightforward.
Firstly, your wife will need to submit an online form to notify the authorities that she intends to share her leave. This must be done no earlier than 12 weeks (about 3 months) before your child’s delivery date and is done online via the Government-Paid Leave (GPL) Portal. This is the shared parental leave application.
Once submitted, you (the father) will need to download and fill out the SPL1 form and attach all supporting documents as necessary. The completed SPL1 form goes to your employer, which they will be using later.
If approved by your employer, you may then take your leave as per the conditions above. When the leave is completed, your employer will then begin the submission on their side to submit the claim for reimbursement. Like for GPPL and GPML, they will be submitting these claims within three months of the last date of your SPL via the GPL Portal as well. If approved by the government (the process may take around 14 weeks for all government-paid leave schemes), the employer may then receive instructions in terms of how they can receive the compensation for the SPL period.
For the self-employed, the process is slightly different. Once your spouse submits the online form to notify her desire to share her GPML or AL leave, you will then need to submit your claim online yourself once the SPL dates have been completed. This is also done via the GPL portal and must also be done within 3 months of the last SPL date.
SPL is a supplementary programme that allows fathers to take additional leave to spend time with their new family and new family members by sharing the GPML or AL programme with their spouses. Like the GPML, AL, and GPPL programme, it is also reimbursed by the government, thus allowing employers to recover some of the lost cost of leave, which in turn encourages pro-family policies in Singapore.
To help plan and to calculate how much you are eligible for, check out the Shared Parental Leave Calculator.
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