Working fathers (including self-employed individuals) are eligible for 1 mandatory government paid week of paternity leave under the Government-Paid Paternity Leave Scheme (GPPL). Employers can also grant 1 voluntary additional week of paid paternity leave which will again be paid for by the government.
Note – Under the GPPL scheme, the leave paid by the government is capped at S$2,500 per week which will include your CPF contributions.
New Update for 2017 – It is mandatory for employers to grant the additional week of paid paternity leave for fathers of all Singapore citizen children who will be born starting January 1, 2017. (Starting from January 1, 2017, eligible fathers can avail 2 weeks of paid paternity leave).
Who is eligible for the Government-Paid Paternity Leave Scheme?
If you are a working father, you are eligible to receive paid paternity leave under GPPL if you satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
- Your child should be a Singapore citizen.
- You are legally married to the mother of your child between conception and time of birth.
- If you are an employee, you should have worked for your employer for a minimum of 3 months continuously before your child is born. This includes employees currently on probation.
- If you are self-employed, you should have been practicing your business/trade for a minimum of 3 months continuously before your child is born and you will have loss of income during the period of your paternity leave.
Can adoptive father take leave under the Government-Paid Paternity Leave Scheme?
As an adoptive father you are eligible to take paternity leave under the GPPL scheme if you meet the following eligibility criteria:
- The child you are adopting is not older than 12 months.
- Your child should be a Singaporean citizen OR if your child is not a Singapore citizen, you or your spouse should be a Singapore citizen.
- You must be legally married to the person you wish to adopt the child with during the time of “formal intent to adopt”. Formal intent to adopt means filing the adoption petition with the Family Court for Singapore citizen children OR issuing a document which is an application that the Dependant’s Pass has been approved for the adopted child who is not a Singapore citizen.
- If you are an employee, you should have worked for your employer for a period of 3 months continuously before the time of “formal intent to adopt”.
- If you are self-employed, you should have been practising your business/trade for a period of 3 months continuously before the time of “formal intent to adopt”.
- The Adoption Order should be granted within a year from the time of “formal intent to adopt” and your child should obtain Singapore Citizenship within a period of 6 months from passing the Adoption Order.
- You (the father) should be an applicant to the adoption.
Government-Paid Paternity Leave Scheme for Permanent Residents and Foreigners in Singapore
If you are a Singapore Permanent Resident or a foreigner living in Singapore, you will still be eligible to take paternity leave under the GPPL scheme if you meet all the eligibility criteria AND your child is a Singapore citizen.
How does the Government-Paid Paternity Leave Scheme work?
If you are an eligible father, you can take paternity leave by default for a period of 2 weeks continuously within 16 weeks of the birth of your child. You also have the option of taking your leaves anytime within 12 months of the birth of your child if you and your employer mutually agree on your leave schedule.
It is important to remember that you are eligible for up to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave under the GPPL scheme which will comprise of 1 mandatory week and 1 voluntary week (depending on your employer) that will be paid for by the government. However, if your child will be born after January 1, 2017, both weeks under GPPL will be made mandatory.
How to apply for paternity leave under the Government-Paid Paternity Leave Scheme?
Before you apply for paternity leave under the GPPL scheme, you have to declare your eligibility status to your employer. You can then apply for leave under this scheme with your employer by complying with the leave taking procedures of your company.
You should notify your employer in advance before you take leave under this scheme.
Arrangement to take leave under GPPL:
- If there is no mutual agreement between you and your employer regarding your leave schedule – You have to take your entitled leave continuously within 16 weeks after your child is born.
- If your employer is flexible with your leave schedule and you have reached a mutual agreement – You can split your entitled leaves and take them at intervals within 12 months after your child is born. Your leaves will be capped at 6 working days for each week.
- You can also take Government-Paid Shared Parental Leave (SPL) if your spouse agrees to it.
Becoming a father is the happiest day of your life. However, it is also the most crucial one. You are responsible for the wellbeing of your child for the rest of your life because you will never stop being a father after the day your child is born. Taking care of and spending time with your child can be tricky especially for working fathers. Therefore, you can use the leaves you are entitled for under the GPPL scheme to ensure that you fulfil your duties as a father and care for your child starting from day 1, giving your new family all the love and support it needs.