Last Updated on May 29, 2022 by Parentology
Just as you are afforded paid leave, medical leave, and unpaid leave, many parents are granted leave for dependents, and often specifically leave for their children. While specifics can vary from company to company, this article will cover the minimum standards for children-related leave in Singapore that is mandated by the Singaporean government in an effort to incentivise Singaporeans to have more children. To this end, child care leave in Singapore is essential.
Do note that this article only covers GPCL and ECL, which are applicable to parents of young children. This article will not cover GPML and GPPL (maternity and paternity leave).
Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL)
If your child is a Singaporean citizen below 7 years old, you are entitled to up to 6 days of leave per year (either the regular calendar year, or a 12-month period as agreed between you and your employer, usually starting from your day of work). This applies to those who are self-employed as well.
The number of days is pro-rated based on how long you have been with your employer, as follows:
Length of Time
|No. of GPCL Days You Are Entitled To|
3 – 5 months
< 7 months
|< 9 months||
|< 11 months||
Employees who have worked for under three months are not entitled to this programme. For those who are self-employed, you must be working in your specific profession for at least three months as well.
These days are applicable to all of your children – that is, whether you have 1 or 3 children, you are entitled to a total of up to 6 days of GPCL regardless. Any parents or legal guardians are eligible for this programme, whether moms or dads.
Parents are paid in full for GPCL leave, with all payments coming directly from the employer. These payments are your gross rate of pay, which is the total basic amount of money you are entitled to in your employment contract. It includes your usual pay and monthly allowances (pro-rated based on the number of working days in the month), but does not include things like overtime, bonus payments, or incentives.
The Singaporean government, however, will reimburse your employer for days 4-6 of your GPCL. This is capped (maximised) at $500/day or a total of $1,500 per calendar year.
This is summarised as follows:
Days 1, 2, 3
|Gross rate of pay||Fully paid by employer|
|Days 4, 5, 6||Gross rate of pay||
Partially paid for by employer
Partially paid for by government, up to $500/day. Reimbursement basis (employer pays first, submits a claim, government reimburses)
Any unconsumed GPCL cannot be carried over to the next relevant period. If you have more than one child, your GPCL is based on the age of your youngest child. You should be able to take child care leave with MC or without MC, depending on arrangements with your employer.
Extended Childcare Leave (ECL)
The Extended Childcare Leave is an enhanced child care leave programme applicable when your youngest children have grown past 7 years.
If you have a child who is a Singaporean citizen between 7 and 12 years of age (including both years), you are entitled to 2 days of leave per relevant period, as defined above. You usually only become eligible for it after three months of working with your employer, as with most other government-related benefits.
As with the GPCL, this is the total number of days of leave you have for all of your children, and your pay for extended child care leave is pro-rated. Extended child care leave for moms are the same as for dads, and other legal guardians or foster parents as well.
As with the GPCL, your employer should be reimbursing both days of leave in full at the gross rate of pay you are entitled to. This is also capped at $500/day or a total of $1,000 in any calendar year.
As above, any unconsued ECL cannot be carried over, and if you have more than one child, it is based on the age of your youngest. You should be able to take extended child care leave with MC or without MC as well.
Recovery of Reimbursements and Payments; Applications and Claims
There are no child care leave applications to be specifically filled out; the GPCL comes into play automatically when you become a parent whether through birth, legal guardianship, adoption, or fostering. While the process varies slightly between parent to parent and family to family, the general process for child care leave claims follow roughly the same guidelines: employees simply fill out a form (GPCL1) and pass it to their employers. Employers will finish the form, and submit the form online on the GPL portal within 3 months from the last day of the relevant period – that is, they will request reimbursement for the year in one go.
You can provide this extended child care leave calculator to your employer for their calculations, for their convenience.
Your employers may ask you to prove your relationship to your child. In general, as long as you can prove your relationship to the child, you should not need to provide more sensitive or confidential information such as your child’s name or birth certificate number. This may take the form of legal guardianship papers or by contacting the MSF Fostering Service.
For self-employed parents, you will simply submit your extended child care leave claim directly on the GPL portal on your own within 3 months from the last day of the calendar year.
Once the application has been submitted, it will be reviewed within 10 days as per the GPLS processing standards. If approved, arrangements will be made for the reimbursements to be provided to your employer.
This article covers the minimum standards of children-related leave as mandated by your government. As mentioned, your company may actually provide additional benefits or incentives in various forms: more days, other accommodations, etc. We recommend speaking with your HR team or your supervisor to see what benefits you may have.