Maternity Leave in Singapore – Highlights for Overseas Employers

Maternity Leave in Singapore – Highlights for Overseas Employers

When operating a company in a foreign land, things will be a bit different from what you are used back home. Singapore, for instance, has laws that state how companies should run and all the rights of the employees. So, if you have started a company here, it is time to understand all of these laws.

One of the most important rights of the employees is maternity leave. The Singaporean authorities have outlined clear directions on what employees are entitled to. Overseas employers should not violate these rights in any way. So, this is what they should know.

Singapore Maternity Leave Rules

The maternity leave here applies to both the foreign workers and locals with only a few differences in the number of days. The guideline shows the latest amendments that are contained in the Child Development Co-Savings Act.

Singapore citizens will get 16 weeks of maternity leave while foreign workers will get 12 weeks. However, foreigners who give birth to a child that is considered as a Singaporean will enjoy 16 weeks of maternity leave even if they are foreigners.

For the maternity leave to apply, the applicant must have worked for the said company for a minimum of three months before giving birth. This has raised concerns among many workers although such cases are rare. It is anticipated that this part will be amended in the future.

The mother who is applying for the leave should be legally married to the father of the child. Therefore, employers should ask for proof of marriage before they can grant leave. According to the Visa Express experts, proof of marriage from other countries is recognized by the Singapore authorities. So, all you need is to carry yours when you get a job in Singapore.

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The last rule that foreign employers should know is that they will pay salary for the first eight weeks and the government will pay for the other eight weeks for Singapore citizens. The employer is supposed to claim the salary to be paid by the government.

Results of Failure to Comply

Foreign employers who fail to comply with these set laws risk many legal consequences. They can be sued by the employees and the consequences include hefty fines and compensation for the inconveniences caused to the mother.

Such a company may also have their license revoked because they cannot give employees the support and environment they need to work. Thus, all companies, both local and foreign, are supposed to comply.

In the past, there have been cases where employees have taken companies to a court of law when they feel oppressed when it comes to matters related to maternity leave. The judges have to determine the causes of conflicts by listening to both sides.


It is crucial, as a foreign employer, to take maternity leave for employees very seriously. It will minimize conflicts between you and the authorities. You should not try to apply the laws of your home country because they will not fit.

Lora Turner

Lora Turner is an Experienced HR professional worked with the large organizations and holding 15 years of experience dealing with employee benefits. She holds expertise in simplifying the leave for the employee benefits. Contact us at: [email protected]