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Parenthood Benefits in Singapore: All About Maternity Leave
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Parenthood Benefits in Singapore: All About Maternity Leave

Last Updated on May 29, 2022 by Parentology

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! You are hopefully reading this article before your child has been welcomed: maternity leave is something that all mothers will be able to claim during their postpartum period. As part of encouraging Singaporeans to have more children, the Singaporean government has put in place a large number of measures to ensure that Singaporeans have plenty of accommodations to have children. One of those policies is in regards to maternity leave in Singapore, and that is the topic this article will discuss.

A summary table is attached as follows:

Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) Employment Act Maternity Leave (Maternity Leave MOM)
Eligibility – Infants are SC either at birth or within 12 months of birth (GPML can only be used once they become SC)

 

– Have worked for your employer (or working in your profession, for the self-employed) for at least 3 continuous months

 

– Applicable for stillbirths

– Have worked for your employer (or working in your profession, for the self-employed) for at least 3 continuous months

– Applicable for stillbirths

Benefits

1st and 2nd children – 8 weeks of leave started before child’s date of birth, to be taken in 1 continuous block. Reimbursed by the government at the mother’s gross rate of pay.

 

– Additional 8 weeks of leave to be taken no later than 12 months from the child’s date of birth either in one continuous block or non-continuously. Reimbursed by the government at up to 10K for every 4 weeks or up to 20K per child.

Non-SC Children (PRs included)

– 12 weeks of maternity leave.

– Employer will pay the usual monthly salary for the first 8 weeks if you have <2 children at the time of delivery and have provided at least 1 week’s notice.

– Last 4 weeks of leave are unpaid and dependent on the employment contract.

– No government reimbursement.

3rd and subsequent children

– 8 weeks of leave started before the child’s date of birth, to be taken in 1 continuous block.

– Additional 8 weeks of leave to be taken no later than 12 months from the child’s date of birth either in one continuous block or non-continuously.

 

– Reimbursed by the government at up to 10K for every 4 weeks or up to 40K per child for all 16 weeks.

Applying for scheme

Employees to submit GPML1 form to employers. NA
Claims Employers to submit claims on Government-Paid Leave Portal.

NA

 

Paternity Leave in Singapore will be covered in a different article.

 

Maternity Leave Eligibility

In Singapore, every mother is entitled to a basic level of maternity leave under a scheme called Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML). Under this scheme, live births (natural births and C-section births) are covered as long as the infants are Singaporean Citizens either at birth or within twelve months from the date of birth. For the latter, GPML can only be used after the children become citizens.

If your child is not a Singaporean Citizen, you may qualify for additional leave under the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Employment Act instead. Maternity leave MOM benefits will be covered in this article as well.

You only qualify for both the GPML and Employment Act if you have worked for your employer for at least three continuous months before your child’s birth. If you are self-employed, you should have been working in this particular profession for at least three months before qualifying for GPML.

GPML and the Employment Act also make concessions for stillbirths. Under both, if you or the child’s father is a Singapore Citizen at the time of stillbirth and you were both lawfully married during pregnancy, and if you have worked with your employer or in your profession for at least three months, then you qualify for leave under either scheme as well.

This is the minimum amount of benefit allotted to mothers; many companies add to it and provide additional benefits, so do speak to your internal HR team to get an idea of what company benefits are provided to you.

 

Benefits

Under GPML, eligible mothers are provided 16 weeks of leave that they can take within 12 months from the day of birth.

Eight weeks of it starts before the child’s birth. Some mothers choose to start their leave 4 weeks before the planned date of birth, and some choose to take different arrangements based on their needs at work. It cannot start earlier than 28 days before the birth but must be started before the day of birth of your child. All eight weeks must be taken continuously.

An additional eight weeks can be taken after the birth, and as mentioned must be taken within 12 months from the day of your child’s birth. Unlike the first block, this second set can be taken either in one continuous block after the first eight weeks, or taken non-continuously as long as arrangements are made with your employer. This totals up to 16 weeks.

 

How do the payments work?

For GPML leave, your employer will pay you as per your usual rate of pay, but will in turn be reimbursed by the government as follows:

  1. For your first and second children, the government will reimburse your employer:
    1. At your gross rate of pay for the first eight weeks
    2. Up to $10,000 per 4 weeks or a total of $20,000 per child for the next eight weeks.
  1. For your third and subsequent children, the government will reimburse your employer:
    1. Up to $10,000 per 4 weeks or a total of $40,000 per child order for all 16 weeks.

For the Employment Act maternity leave, your employer will pay you as per your usual rate of pay, but there will not be reimbursement from the government. The Employment Act maternity leave serves as a way to make sure that all mothers working in Singapore are treated properly and well even if they are not Singaporean Citizens.

 

Application, Claims, and Reimbursement

The maternity leave claim process for GPML is also quite straightforward.

If you are an employee, notify your employer as early as possible of when you plan to take your leave so that they may make arrangements to cover your workload as soon as possible.

One week before the planned start of your GPML, submit the GPML1 form to your employer along with supporting documentation. You can then take your leave as usual. Employers can then submit their claim for reimbursement online via the Government-Paid Leave Portal after the mother has completed the government-paid portion of GPML. All submissions should be made within 3 months from the last date of GPML taken. The application will take around 14 weeks to be processed, and if approved instructions will be provided if necessary for receipt of the reimbursement amount.

For those who are self-employed, simply submit the claim online via the Government-Paid Leave Portal after the government-paid leave has been completed. As above, you must submit the claims within 3 months of the last GPML date, and the reimbursement decision will come within 14 weeks as well.

There are no applications or claims processes for the government for leave under the Employment Act; do ensure that the process for your company is filled out, however.

 

Additional Resources

To help plan and to calculate how much you are eligible for, check out the Maternity Leave Singapore Calculator.

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