Since January 1, 2017, Singapore has been offering working fathers two weeks of Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL). This initiative actively supports new fathers in their early parenting journey.
Important update: To further support fathers in their role, the Singapore government has announced an extension to this policy. The two-week government-funded paid paternity leave will be increased to four weeks starting January 1, 2024. Employers have the option to voluntarily provide the extra two weeks of GPPL, for which they will receive reimbursement from the government.
Eligibility for government-paid paternity leave
Applicants must fulfil these conditions to qualify for GPPL:
The child should be a Singapore citizen.
The father must be legally married to the child’s mother from conception to birth.
Employees need to have served their employer for at least three months before the child's birth.
Self-employed fathers should have been actively working for a minimum of three months before the child’s birth and must have experienced a loss of income during the paternity leave.
Adoptive fathers also qualify for GPPL under similar criteria.
Understanding GPPL entitlement
The actual number of leave days per week depends on the father's work schedule. For instance, a father working six days a week gets 12 days of GPPL. Similarly, a father who works five days a week would be entitled to 10 days of GPPL weekly under this scheme.
The weekly GPPL cap is $2,500, including CPF contributions.
Options for using GPPL
Fathers of children born before January 1, 2024, can use their GPPL in several ways:
Default arrangement – Take two continuous weeks within 16 weeks after the child’s birth. This option may be optimal for fathers who prefer to be present during the early postnatal period.
Flexible arrangement – Take two continuous weeks at any time within 12 months after the child’s birth.
Split arrangement – Divide the two weeks into working days and use them in any combination within 12 months after the child’s birth.
Fathers of children born FROM January 1, 2024, onwards will be entitled to 4 weeks instead of two. Stay tuned for announcements from the Ministry of Manpower regarding updates to this scheme.
How to apply for paternity leave
Inform your employer about your planned leave early to allow for verification of your eligibility and to arrange for cover in your absence.
Fill out the GPPL1 declaration form, including all necessary documents, and submit it to your employer. Your employer might have its own form or system for confirming your eligibility.
Follow your employer's specific procedures to apply for GPPL.
Tip: Essential documents you will need to provide are your child's birth certificate and your marriage certificate.
For self-employed fathers
Keep a record of the dates you intend to take for GPPL.
File your GPPL claim through the GPL Portal, ensuring this is done within 3 months following your GPPL date.
Shared parental leave
Fathers can also choose to share up to four weeks of the mother's 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave with the mother's agreement.
Here are the criteria to be eligible for shared parental leave:
The child must hold Singaporean citizenship.
The child's mother should be eligible for Government-Paid Maternity Leave.
The father must be legally married to the child's mother.
Fathers can take up to four weeks of shared parental leave, capped at $2,500 per week, including CPF. This leave is available for children born after July 1, 2017. Fathers can take this leave either continuously or in blocks within 12 months of the child's birth.
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