Under Shared Parental Leave or SPL, as a working father (including self-employed), you can share up to 1 week of your wife’s Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) of 16 weeks if she agrees to share it with you.
2016 New Update –
Starting from July 1, 2017, working fathers can share 2 weeks of their wives’ GPML of 16 weeks upon wife’s consent. All working fathers whose children are Singapore citizens born on/after July 1, 2017 will be eligible to take extended leave under the new update.
The changes in this scheme have been administered as a way of encouraging shared parental responsibility among parents in Singapore.
Who is eligible to take leave under the Government-Paid Shared Parental Leave?
If you are a working father (including self-employed), you will be eligible to take leave under SPL if you satisfy the following conditions:
- Your child should be a Singapore citizen.
- The mother of your child is eligible for leave under the GPML scheme.
- You are legally married to the mother of your child.
Taking leaves under the Government-Paid Shared Parental Leave
The government will pay your 1 week of SPL which has a cap of S$2,500 for a week and will include your CPF contributions.
You can take leaves under SPL in the following ways:
- By default or without a mutual agreement with your employer – You can take 1 week of SPL continuously within 12 months upon your child’s birth.
- If you and your employer mutually agree on your leave schedule – You can split your 1 week of leave over a period of 12 months upon your child’s birth.
Note – Maternity leave under GPML and leave under SPL schemes can be taken at the same time.
Applying for leave under the Government-Paid Shared Parental Leave scheme
To apply for SPL, you and your spouse will have to follow the steps mentioned below:
- You and your spouse should discuss your leave schedule with your employers.
- Upon reaching an agreement on both sides, the mother will have to visit the Pro-family Leave website and log into SPLAS or the Shared Parental Leave Application System and indicate that she wishes to share 1 week of her GPML leave with you.
- Upon completion of the application, both you and your spouse must submit your confirmation letters to your respective employers regarding the allocation of leaves.
Important Tips regarding Government-Paid Shared Parental Leave
- Once the leaves have been allocated/shared, no further changes will be allowed. Therefore, you must consider your decision to share your leave with your spouse very thoroughly. That is why the government has given you up to 12 months after the birth of your child to make your decision regarding SPL.
- There is no minimum duration of employment that the father needs to complete to take leaves under the SPL scheme. As long as the mother is eligible for maternity leave under the GPML scheme and the father has not taken any SPL for the same child with his previous employer, he is eligible for the SPL scheme.
- SPL can be strictly taken for 1 week until July 1, 2017. Your wife can either share 1 full week of her GPML with you or none at all. However, you have the flexibility to stretch this 1 week of leave over the course of 12 months after the birth of your child.
- If the father resigns, is terminated or retrenched from his position with his employer, with whom he applied for the SPL, and has not utilized any part of his leave, the unused leaves can be returned to the mother if he submits his letter of termination/resignation/retrenchment along with an email/letter from his employer as proof that no leaves under SPL have been utilized.
- Employers can claim for reimbursement of paid leave under the SPL scheme on the Pro-family Leave website. (Maximum reimbursement is S$2,500 for the week including CPF contributions).
Taking care of your child after birth is a shared responsibility between the parents. That is why the government allows fathers to take extended leave apart from their paternity leave under Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) to help mothers in caring for their newborns.