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20 FAQs about Paternity Leave for Fathers in Singapore

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Congratulations on becoming a father!

Now that your baby is out and has finally greeted the world, here comes the tough part – getting settled with your little bundle of joy.

In order to encourage and support shared parental responsibility, the Singapore government has introduced paternity leave since 2017.

This means that fathers are also entitled to leave after the birth of their child so that they are able to spend more time with the family.

Of course, paternity leave differs slightly from maternity leave but just who is entitled to this leave and what are the criteria behind this relatively new law in Singapore? 

Read more: 20 FAQs about Maternity Leave for Mothers in Singapore

Many happy moments await you, together with many sleepless nights in your soon to be expanded family. 

But how about your work life? The Ministry of Manpower provides guidelines for fathers who are looking to apply for paternity leave in Singapore. Read on to find out more! 

1. Who is eligible for Paternity leave in Singapore?

You are entitled to paternity leave in Singapore if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your child is a Singapore citizen.
  • You are or had been lawfully married to the child’s mother between conception and birth.
  • For employees: you have served your employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of your child.
  • For self-employed: you have been engaged in your work for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of your child, and have lost income during the paternity leave period.

 

2. Am I eligible for Paternity leave if I’m adopting a child?

You are entitled to paternity leave in Singapore if you meet the following criteria when adopting a child:

  • Your child is a Singapore citizen.
  • For employees: you have served your employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of your child.
  • For self-employed: you have been engaged in your work for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of your child, and have lost income during the paternity leave period.

 

3. How many days of paternity leave are Fathers entitled to?

The entitlement is 2 weeks of government paid paternity leave (GPPL).

If you work 5 days a week, you are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave. If you work 6 days a week, you are entitled to 12 days of paternity leave.

 

4. How can I use or split up my paternity leave?

Must I use my entire paternity leave at one go, or can I split up my paternity leave into separate days? 

Here is how you can utilise your paternity leave:

PATERNITY LEAVE - Government Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)

Leave Arrangement

2 weeks of paternity leave

Default, without any mutual agreement

Take 2 continuous weeks within 16 weeks after the birth of the child.

Flexibly, by mutual agreement

Take 2 continuous weeks any time within 12 months after the birth of the child.

Split the 2 weeks into working days and take them in any combination within 12 months after the birth of the child.

Calculating actual leave days

2 weeks X the number of working days in the week.

Capped at 6 working days per week.

 

5. What is the cap for reimbursement of Government-Paid Paternity Leave?

Each week of GPPL is capped at $2,500, including CPF contributions.

 

6. Am I eligible for paternity leave if my child is still-born?

Yes, you are eligible for paternity leave if the eligibility criteria are met. 

 

7. Am I eligible for paternity leave if my newborn child passed away?

Yes, you are eligible for paternity leave if the eligibility criteria are met. 

 

8. Am I eligible for paternity leave if my wife had a miscarriage?

No. Unfortunately, paternity leave does not apply to miscarriages.

 

9. Can I get extra pay for unused paternity leave?

No. Paternity leave cannot be cashed out because it is time for you to spend with your family and newborn.

 

10. Can I use paternity leave to shorten my notice period?

No. You cannot use your paternity leave to shorten your resignation notice period.

However, you can use your paternity leave during the notice period. The period when you are on paternity leave will count towards your service of the notice period.

All paternity leave not used before your last day of employment will be forfeited by your employer.

 

11. Am I eligible for paternity leave as a PR, or a foreigner (work permit holder) working in Singapore?

As a foreigner or permanent resident, you are eligible for government-paid paternity leave as long as your child is a Singapore citizen and you meet the other eligibility criteria.

If your child is not a Singapore citizen, you will have to check with your employer if they provide company-paid paternity leave.

 

12. How should I tell my employer that I’m going for paternity leave?

If you are going on paternity leave, you should tell your employer early so that they can verify your eligibility and make alternative arrangements for the time that you are away. 

You will also have to submit the declaration form (GPPL1) to your employer with all necessary supporting documents. 

Your employer may also use its own declaration form or system for you to declare your eligibility.

 

13. I’m self-employed, am I entitled to paternity leave?

Yes, as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria

 

14. If I am self employed, how do I claim for paternity leave?

The Government will reimburse you for the days you were on paternity leave. This is calculated based on your Notice of Assessment from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

You can submit your claim online via the GPL Portal no later than 3 months after the last date of your paternity leave taken.

 

15. I’m a part-time employee, am I entitled to paternity leave?

Yes, as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria

The leave you’re entitled to is based on the number of hours you work in a week. 

For example, if you’re a part-time employee working 20 hours a week, and you have been working for your employer for at least 3 months before your child’s birth, you’ll be eligible for 40 hours of paternity leave.

 

16. Am I entitled to paternity leave as a full-time national serviceman?

Paternity leave applies to company employees and the self-employed. If you want to take leave, you should check with your superior officer, or with Mindef.

 

17. I’m still on probation at work. Am I eligible for paternity leave?

Yes, as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria

 

18. If I change jobs before I complete my paternity leave, can I carry over the balance to my new company?

No. If you switch jobs before completing your paternity leave, you won’t be able to transfer any unused leave to your new company.

 

19. What happens if I did not take paternity leave within 16 weeks and also did not obtain my employer’s agreement to consume it flexibly within 12 months?

The paternity leave will be forfeited if it is not consumed within 16 weeks after the child’s birth, and there was no prior agreement to take the leave flexibly within 12 months after the child’s birth.

 

20. As a father, can I apply for shared parental leave?

As a working father, you can currently apply to share up to 4 weeks of your wife’s 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave, subject to your wife’s agreement.

If you are a working father, including one who is self-employed, you are entitled to shared parental leave if you meet the following requirements:

  • Your child is a Singapore citizen.
  • The child’s mother qualifies for Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML).
  • You are lawfully married to the child’s mother.

 

Paternity leave in Singapore

With this new law, fathers should play a role in helping out at home with the new addition.

Working hand in hand with your significant other, use your paternity leave to help ease the workload back at home. Spend this much needed time with your family and definitely cherish this time with your newborn.

Now that you are aware of the eligibility requirements of paternity leave in Singapore, be sure to fight for your rights to the paternity leave you deserve. 

 
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