New and enhanced leave entitlements in the Child Development Co-Savings Act ("CDCA") will take effect from 1 July 2017. The key changes are outlined below.

Shared parental leave for fathers increased to 4 weeks

Fathers of Singapore citizen children born from 1 July 2017 will be entitled to 4 weeks of shared parental leave. This leave entitlement is subject to certain conditions under the CDCA which include the requirement for the mother's consent to sharing the leave (where the father takes 4 weeks of shared parental leave, the mother's maternity leave entitlement of 16 weeks is correspondingly reduced by 4 weeks). These 4 weeks of shared parental leave will be funded by the Government, capped at S$2,500 per week.

This will be an increase from the current entitlement of 1 week of shared parental leave.

Adoption leave for adoptive mothers increased to 12 weeks

Adoptive mothers who adopt children from 1 July 2017 will be entitled to 12 weeks of adoption leave, subject to the conditions under the CDCA which include the requirement that the adopted child be less than 1 year old. For each of the first 2 children adopted, the employer will fund 4 weeks' leave, capped at S$10,000 in total, and the Government will fund the remaining 8 weeks, capped at S$10,000 per 4 weeks or S$20,000 in total.

The Government will fund the full 12 weeks for the third and each subsequent child adopted, capped at S$10,000 per 4 weeks or S$30,000 in total.

This is an increase of 8 weeks from the current entitlement of 4 weeks of adoption leave for adoptive mothers.

New – 4 weeks' adoption leave for adoptive fathers

Adoptive fathers who adopt children from 1 July 2017 will be entitled to share 4 weeks of their wife's adoption leave, subject to certain conditions under the CDCA which include the requirement for the mother's consent to sharing the leave. These 4 weeks of shared adoption leave will be funded by the Government, capped at S$2,500 per week.

This is a new entitlement as the CDCA currently does not provide for sharing of the adoptive mother's adoption leave.

What this means for employers and employees

Employees who meet the relevant conditions under the CDCA will, from 1 July 2017, be entitled to more time-off:

  • Fathers can share 3 more weeks of their wife's maternity leave entitlement of 16 weeks;
  • Adoptive mothers will be entitled to 8 additional weeks of adoption leave; and
  • Adoptive fathers will be able to share 4 weeks of their wife's adoption leave entitlement of 12 weeks.

Employers should ensure that their leave practices are revised to comply with the upcoming statutory changes. If necessary, written policies should also be updated for compliance.