• Government-Paid Adoption Leave Scheme - GPAL

    The Singapore Government has introduced a programme known as the Government-Paid Adoption Leave Scheme – GPAL, aimed at supporting parents who have adopted an infant (child younger than 1 year). Under this scheme, the government allows adoptive mothers to take paid leave of up to 12 weeks within a period of 12 months, starting from the date when the child was born.

    How Many Leave Days Can You Take?

    As per the revised guidelines that came into effect from 1 July 2017, you are entitled to take a total of twelve weeks of adoption leave. This you will have to take within a year of the kid’s birth (including the day the child was born). Your employer will pay for the first four weeks of the leave (applicable only for the first and second child). The remaining eight weeks will be taken care of by the Government of Singapore.

    For all subsequent adoptions, the Government of Singapore will pay for the entire twelve weeks of your leave. The government-funded adoption leaves are capped at S$10,000 for a period of four weeks, including CPF contributions. You will have to take the entire 12 weeks of adoption leave in a single block. However, if you and your employer agree, you can be flexible with how you take the four weeks of leave funded by the employer.

    Who Can Take Adoption Leave?

    If you are the mother of an adopted infant child, you are eligible to get the leave if you fulfil the criteria mentioned below:

    • Your child is not older than a year at the time of your official intent to adopt and:
      • For a foreign child: You have received the in-principle approval for a Dependant’s Pass.
      • For a local child: You have filed an application in the court to adopt.
    • The order for adoption must be approved within a year from the time of your formal intent to adopt.
    • The adopted child must be a citizen of Singapore.
    • You have worked for at least three months with your current employer or you have been self-employed for an uninterrupted period of a minimum of three months just before your formal intent to adopt.
    • In case the child you want to adopt is a foreigner, either you or your spouse should be a citizen of Singapore. Also, the child must become a citizen of Singapore within six months of being adopted.
    • You will have to be legally married at the time of your formal intent to adopt.

    How to Take Adoption Leave

    If you want to apply for the Government-Paid Adoption Leave Scheme, you can use any of the following ways:

    • Call the helpline number.
    • Send an email to the relevant government email address.
    • Visit the official website and apply there.

    Employed individuals will have to take the following steps:

    1. Notify the employer well in advance about your intention of taking the leave.
    2. Fill in all the relevant details in your declaration form together with all the necessary documents.
    3. Apply for the leave as per the procedure followed in your organisation.

    Self-employed individuals will have to take the following steps:

    • Keep and maintain a personal record of all your leave dates.
    • Submit the claim on the GPL portal within three months after your final day of leave.
    • Finally, you must sign in to the GPL portal and verify the application status. You will be notified once the application process is over.   

    How to Make a Claim

    If you want to make a claim for reimbursement, you can do so in the following ways:

    • Call the helpline number.
    • Send an email to the relevant government email address.
    • Visit the official website and apply there.

    You can only claim for reimbursement only after you have taken the leave.

    Employer Responsibilities

    As an employer, you will have to fulfil the following responsibilities:

    1. Collect all the supporting documents and the declaration form from the concerned employee when she applies for the leave. You can also your own system or form to collect the employee's declaration.
    2. Once you have all the documents, submit it online on the Government Paid Leave Portal within three months of the final day of the employee's adoption leave.
    3. Sign in to the Government Paid Leave Portal and check the application status. Your employee will be notified, along with you, once the processing of the application is done.

    FAQs

      Q. What is the significance of the date 1 July 2017?

      A. The improvement to Adoption Leave needed some legislative changes, in addition to substantial system improvements to guarantee the genuine claims are reimbursed correctly. Sufficient time was required for employers to make infrastructure adjustments and changes to HR processes. The employer were given the notification much before 1 July 2017 while the scheme for mothers began from 1 July 2017.

      Q. Can I submit my claim before taking the leave?

      A. No, you can make a claim for reimbursement only after you have taken the leave.

      Q. Are adoptive fathers eligible for Government-Paid Adoption Leave Scheme?

      A. Adoptive fathers are eligible only for Government-Paid Paternity Leave and also if they fulfil the following requirements:

      • The adopted child is one year old or younger at the time of official intent to adopt.
      • The order for adoption must be accepted within a year from the time of formal intent to adopt.
      • The adopted kid must be a Singapore citizen.
      • Before adopting the child, you must have served a period of at least three months with your current employer or you have been self-employed for three months continuously.
      • If the child is a foreigner, you or your spouse should be a Singapore citizen and the child must become a citizen within six months.
      • You must be legally married at the time of formal intent to adopt.

      Q. What is child order?

      A.  In the instance when the formal intent to adopt falls on or after 1 July 2017, all child births by the mother will be taken as one child order. This will not include kids who are no longer alive, stillbirths, stepchildren and adopted children for whom you are pursuing reimbursements.

      Q. Will I be eligible for this leave if I am no longer married?

      A. Yes, but only if your formal intent to adopt falls on 1 January 2017 or after.

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