Guide to Maternity & Paternity Leave in Singapore

Having a baby this year? We breakdown the latest maternity and paternity leave guidelines in Singapore so that you will know what to expect when you bring home your new bundle of joy.

newborn baby


When working couples have a child, the time off right before and after the birth is imperative for recovery and bonding with your newborn. For this reason, companies typically provide maternity and/or paternity leave.

In Singapore, maternity leave is government-regulated, which means that every employer has to follow guidelines surrounding eligibility, time off and payment. Our guide will help you navigate these regulations so you can be well informed and enter the new chapter of your life feeling confident.

Table of Contents

parents holding up ultrasound
Source: Unsplash

Types of Maternity Leave in Singapore

There are two types of maternity leave available to Singaporean working mothers (including self-employed mothers).

The first is the Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) scheme, which lasts 16 weeks and provides salary payment for the full period.

Under the GMPL, for your first and second child, your employer will pay you for the first eight (8) weeks, at your gross rate of pay. Thereafter for maternity leave weeks 9-16, it is reimbursed by the government. This is subject to a cap of S$10,000 per four weeks (or a total of $20,000). If you are expecting your third child, all 16 weeks of maternity leave are reimbursed by the government (S$10,000 per four weeks; cap at a total of $40,000). The payout will be wholly administered by your employer, who will then claim reimbursement from the Government in accordance with the GPML scheme.

Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) scheme at a glance:

maternity leave Ministry of Manpower 2024
Source: MOM website (accurate as of March 2024)

The second type of maternity leave is 12 weeks under the Employment Act. For this second type of maternity leave, its eligibility criteria and if it is fully paid, partially paid or unpaid depends on a few factors such as: (1) if you are covered under the Employment Act, (2) if you have worked for your employer or have been self-employed for at least 3 continuous months before the birth of your child. For paid maternity leave, the eligibility is for at least three (3) continuous months before the birth of your child, you need to have worked for your employer or have been self-employed.

Maternity Leave Eligibility

You are qualified for GPML (16 weeks) if your child is a Singaporean citizen and you have been working in your employment (including self employment) continuously for at least 3 months. You will still be eligible for GPML even if you experienced a stillbirth.

The Employment Act provides 12 weeks of  maternity leave. If you are a foreigner or permanent resident working in Singapore and/ or your child is not a Singaporean citizen, then you will qualify for the 12 weeks of maternity leave (if you are covered under the Employment Act). Your employer will be required to pay your usual salary for the first 8 weeks of your maternity leave, provided (1) you have to have worked at least 3 continuous months before the birth; and (2) you have fewer than two living children of your own at the time of your delivery. If you did not work for 3 continuous months, then you will only be eligible for unpaid leave.

In all cases, you should let your employer know at least one (1) week before starting your leave to avoid any issues with payment eligibility.

Types of Maternity LeaveEligibility Criteria
Maternity Leave: 16 weeks (Paid)
  • You are covered under the Employment Act
  •  You have worked for your employer or have been self-employed for at least 3 continuous months before the birth of your child.
  • My child is a Singapore citizen.
Maternity Leave: 12 weeks (Unpaid)
  • You are covered under the Employment Act
  •  You have NOT worked for your employer or have NOT been self-employed for at least 3 continuous months before the birth of your child.
Maternity Leave: 12 weeks (Partially Paid)

Your employer will pay your usual monthly salary for the first 8 weeks of leave. The last four (4) weeks of maternity leave is unpaid. 

Whether your employer pays you during the last 4 weeks of maternity leave depends on your employment contract.

  • You are covered under the Employment Act
  •  You have worked for your employer or have been self-employed for at least 3 continuous months before the birth of your child.

***Assuming the child is born or has an estimated delivery date (EDD) on or after 1 January 2017

***Information as of March 2024

You can check out more information on this via the MOM website.

Related: Is Your Due Date Set? Here’s A Pregnancy Bag Cost & Checklist

Planning Maternity Leave

You can start your maternity leave four (4) weeks before your delivery date. Your maternity leave can be structured in two segments of eight weeks each. The first 8 weeks must be taken in one continuous block. The last eight weeks/four weeks can be taken as arranged with your employer. The below is a summary of how it looks like:

By DefaultTake the 16/ 12 weeks continuously, starting 4 weeks before delivery.
By Mutual AgreementStart anytime within 4 weeks before delivery.

You must take the first 8 weeks in one continuous stretch.

You can take the last 8 weeks/ 4 weeks flexibly over 12 months from your child’s birth.

Related: Is Your Due Date Set? Here’s A Pregnancy Bag Cost & Checklist

Types of Paternity Leave in Singapore

Starting Jan 2024, fathers in Singapore may be eligible for four weeks of paid paternity leave under the Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) scheme. Fathers can also take another four weeks of shared parental leave. The shared parental leave allows you, as a working father, to apply to share up to four (4) weeks of your wife’s 16 weeks of GPML.

The GPPL is a government scheme that allows fathers to take up to four (4) paid weeks off. Your pay during each week of the GPPL is capped at S$2,500, including CPF contributions. The four weeks’ GPPL is in addition to the four weeks of shared parental leave. The four weeks of paid leave (GPPL) is by default taken within 16 weeks after the birth of your child. However, you are able to negotiate with your employer to take the leave for four weeks any time within a year after your child is born or split the four weeks into working days and take them off in any combination within a year of your child’s birth.

Paternity Leave Eligibility

You are eligible for GPPL if your child is a Singaporean citizen, you have been lawfully married to the child’s mother between conception and birth, and you have worked at your job (employed/ self-employed) for at least 3 continuous months before your child is born.

You are entitled to shared parental leave if your child is a Singapore citizen, you are lawfully married to the child’s mother and she qualifies for GMPL.

Related: Ways to Start Investing For Your Children to Give Them a Financial Head-Start

father with two young children
Source: Unsplash

Other Family Support Programmes

There are several other programmes available to new families in Singapore that can provide additional monetary benefits to help you grow a nest egg and support your children.

Click To See Other Leave Schemes and Parental Benefits

    • Unpaid Infant Care Leave: Each parent is entitled to 12 days a year of unpaid leave if your child is younger than two years of age and is a Singapore citizen. This includes legally adopted children or step-children.
    • Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL): Each parent is entitled to six (6) days of paid childcare leave (GPCL) until the year your child turns seven years old. The criteria for this is your child is a Singapore citizen and you have been engaged in your work (employed/ self-employed) for at least 3 continuous months.
    • Adoption Leave for Mothers: Eligible adoptive mothers who are adopting an infant are eligible for 12 weeks of paid adoption leave taken within 12 months of the child’s birth. The child must be a Singapore citizen or become a Singapore citizen within six (6) months of the adoption.
    • Maternity Protection for Pregnant Employees: Former employers are still required to pay maternity leave benefits to pregnant women who are dismissed without sufficient cause during their pregnancy.
    • Baby Bonus Scheme: The Baby Bonus Scheme is a combination of a cash gift and a Child Development Account (CDA) co-savings scheme for Singapore citizen children.
      • For the Baby Bonus Cash Gift, the first two eligible children born will receive S$11,000 each, while the 3rd and subsequent children will receive S$13,000. The cash gift payments are paid out as follows: up to S$9,000 over the first 18 months, followed by S$400 every six months until the child is six-and-a-half years old.
      • The CDA will be opened within three to five days of your child’s birth registration or after your child is enrolled in the Baby Bonus Scheme. It provides a one time S$5,000 payout (CDA First Step). Thereafter, every dollar deposited into the account will receive a dollar matched by the government up to a cap based on the birth order of the child. For children born after February 2023, it is capped at S$4,000 for the first child, S$7,000 for the second child, S$9,000 for the third and fourth child and S$15,000 for the fifth and subsequent children.

In addition to government schemes, there are other resources expecting families can consider to make their lives a little bit easier. For instance, maternity insurance is a good, fairly inexpensive option to protect expectant mothers against unpredictable and expensive medical costs relating to their pregnancies and newborns.

If you are are looking for a comprehensive maternity insurance plan to protect you and your baby during your pregnancy, check out our round up of the best maternity insurance plans in Singapore. For more information about other insurance needs, check out our helpful resources


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