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Childcare leave in Singapore

Everything you need to know about childcare leave in Singapore

from  April 5, 2022 | 3 min read

Many Singaporean workers benefit from childcare leave. Thanks to this employment benefit, working parents can take paid time off to look after their children and support their pressing needs.

Unbeknownst to many, non-citizens may also apply for childcare leave in Singapore. They can get two days of childcare leave a year in accordance with the Employment Act.

So, if you run a business in Singapore that employs foreign workers, this article is for you. We covered everything you need to know about childcare leave entitlement.

What is childcare leave?

Childcare leave is a government-paid leave (GPL) given to working mothers and fathers who need to stay home and care for their children if they fall sick. 

In Singapore, the employer will pay for the 1st to 3rd day of childcare leave per parent. For the 4th to 6th day of childcare leave, the government will reimburse the company, capped at $500 per day or a total of $1,500 in any calendar year.

Accepted uses of childcare leave

Aside from taking care of sick children, working parents may also use the childcare benefit for many reasons, including:

  • accompany children on the first day of school
  • attend child immunisation appointments
  • caught in a dispute with a daycare provider

Restrictions of childcare leave

Working parents can’t use the childcare leave for personal use and other purposes that don’t deal with caring for children. Some of the restrictions include:

  • transfer or share childcare leave between spouses
  • cash-out unused or outstanding childcare leave
  • apply for no-pay leave and childcare leave simultaneously 

Who’s entitled to paid childcare benefits?

Under Singapore law, working parents whose youngest child is below seven years of age can get childcare leave in Singapore, provided that they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • the child is a Singaporean citizen
  • have worked for the current employer for at least three months
  • have been self-employed for at least three months

Singapore citizens’ childcare leave entitlement

Singaporean working parents are eligible for six days of government-paid childcare leave if their youngest child is six years and below. If their youngest child is between seven and 12 years old, they can only enjoy two days of extended childcare leave (ECL).

Non-citizens’ childcare leave entitlement

A working parent with a non-Singapore citizen child only gets two days per year of childcare leave, subject to the above mentioned eligibility requirements.

Employees may also check their childcare leave eligibility here.

Process of childcare leave in Singapore

Your employees must notify you in advance to verify their GPCL/ECL eligibility. Here’s how you can process their childcare leave:

  1. Check GPCL/ECL balances.
  2. Receive the childcare leave form.
    1. Your employee should submit the declaration form (GPCL1) to your employer, along with the necessary supporting documents, including:
      1. NRIC or FIN no. of employee
      2. name of qualifying child
      3. birth certificate no./ Singapore citizenship certificate no. of qualifying child
      4. date of birth of the qualifying child
      5. citizenship of the qualifying child
  3. Submit your employees’ childcare leave claims online via the Government-Paid Leave (GPL) Portal.
    1. Claims should be submitted no later than 3 months after the last day of the calendar year.
  4. Check application status in the GPL portal. Remember, the government may refuse to pay for childcare leave if your employees have used up their childcare leave.

Parting thoughts

The partially-paid government childcare leave allows working parents like you to balance career and parenting responsibilities with peace of mind. 

As an employer, it’s crucial to provide your eligible employees–Singapore citizens or not– the childcare benefit. Also, it helps to invest in a reliable HR technology that will simplify your leave management activities.

Unit4 Prosoft is an all-in-one human resource system that covers several HR functions, including leave administration. This software lets employers create unlimited leave types, centralise leave information, and track leave patterns, among other benefits.  

Learn more about how our HRMS solution can streamline your leave management process here.


Unit4 Prosoft

Unit4 Prosoft have been serving customers in Asia for 30 years and is trusted by over 1,000 businesses across the APAC region in the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, construction, and professional services industries. Unit4 Prosoft HRMS has modules that support every aspect of your HRMS programs and allows you to manage people’s entire hire-to-retire cycle with a central control center and database. Your people get the flexibility and freedom to have what they need—how, when and where they need it.