As an employer, you are probably aware of the Government Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) in Singapore but you're unsure about who is entitled and how many days you should permit.
At the end of this article, you'll be able to:
Childcare leave is one of the attractive employee benefits given to mothers and fathers to take care of their children during their working hours.
It's also known as parental leave.
The best part is that the Government will reimburse your company with $500 per day (including CPF contributions) for the 4th, 5th, and 6th days of childcare leaves per parent. In turn, you need to bear the cost for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd days of leave in that year.
Your employees can take childcare leave to spend time with their children for any reason. However, there are restrictions on using the leave; for example, they cannot transfer their leave to their spouse or cash out their unused leave.
Working parents can use childcare leave to accompany their children on the first day of school, child immunisation or look after their children.
If the child is sick and your employees took GPCL, they don’t need to provide a medical certificate for the child.
Some of the restrictions are:
Not all working parents are eligible for paid childcare leave. The entitled ones are those whose youngest child falls below 7 years old and worked for you for at least 3 months continuously.
That's not all. There are other factors that will affect the number of days.
The commonly known number of days for childcare leave is 6 days a year.
However, this only applies to parents whose child is a Singapore citizen, capped at 6 days a year and 42 days in 7 years (per parent).
Otherwise, the parent with a non-Singapore citizenship child gets 2 days a year, capped at 14 days for each parent.
The number of days doesn't jump from 0 to 6 immediately. Depending on the duration of service, the number of days for childcare leave increases gradually as time passes.
Almost similar to the table above, resigned employees are still entitled to childcare leave until they officially reach the last working date.
The number of days eligible for childcare leave is as follows:
For instance, one of your employees resigned in June 2020 and needs to serve a 2-month notice. The number of eligible days is calculated from January until August (8 months). Meaning the employee gets 4 days of childcare leave.
If your employees' youngest child is between 7 to 12 years old and is a Singapore citizen, they get Extended Government Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) instead. And it's capped at 2 days per year.
Let's take Victoria again. It's 2027. Her youngest child is now 7 years old and she can apply for Extended GPCL until her child turns 12.
They're also not left behind. The number of eligible days for childcare depends on the number of working hours.
Follow the steps below to calculate the number of childcare leave days for your part-timers.
Lee, a part-time worker in your company, works 12 hours a week in your company. He has just started working 5 months ago. What’s the maximum number of days of childcare leave you can allow?
Lee will be entitled to 7.2 hours of childcare leave.
Extended childcare leave is an employee benefit for working parents whose youngest child is between 7 - 12 years old and is a Singapore citizen.
They're entitled to 2 days of childcare leave per year.
If your employee's youngest child is a non-Singaporean citizen, unfortunately, they don't get this benefit.
Whenever an employee comes up to you and requests childcare leave, use this MOM site to check whether your employee is eligible or not.
The general rule of thumb is that:
Employees would wish that they can carry it forward. Unfortunately, no. The maximum number of days of childcare leave is 6 per year. Any unused childcare leave will lapse.
Your employees will notify you once they've decided to take childcare leave. Then, follow the steps below to submit or claim:
At the GPL Portal Homepage, select “No. of Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) Days Taken”.
If you are logged in,
If you are checking on the number of days of GPCL taken by your employees, you have to provide details such as the date of birth of that person.
If the employee hasn’t used all of their childcare leaves, move to Step 2.
Your employee will fill and submit the childcare leave form (GPCL1) and supporting documents to you. The information you’ll get is:
You do not need to submit this form but you’re required to keep this form for 5 years for verification if necessary.
Submit your employee's claims online via the GPL Portal after the leave is taken and within 3 months after the last day of the 12-month relevant period.
Not sure about how many claims you can receive? Use this calculator to find out.
Read here for more information about the reimbursement of GPCL.
Log in to GPL Portal to check your application status. A notification will be sent to you and your employee once your application is processed.
Note: The government may refuse to pay for childcare leave if your employees have already used all of their days. The employer will only find out after they submit their pass and the employee has taken all of their days.
Taking the time off is just one way for working parents to take care of their children. Besides GPCL, employers may provide parental and childcare benefits to ease working parents' burden and allow them to focus at work without family stress.
Some of the employee benefits you can offer to working parents are:
Curious about how much Singapore-based employers are spending on employee benefits? Read this article to see where you stand against the benchmark.