From 1 July 2017 onwards, the following changes will come into force:

Pro-family leave entitlements

  • Shared parental leave: Mothers will have the option of sharing up to 4 weeks of statutory maternity leave (up from 1 week previously) with their husbands; and
  • Adoption leave: Mothers with adopted children will receive an additional 3 weeks of statutory adoption leave, making it a total of 12 weeks of statutory adoption leave. The first 4 weeks of adoption leave will be paid for by the employer (the 1st and 2nd child) and the remaining 8 weeks will be paid for by the Singapore Government. For the 3rd and subsequent child, all 12 weeks of leave will be paid for by the Singapore Government.

Employers should take note of the revisions to shared parental leave and adoption leave. Employers should also be mindful of the various reimbursements from the Singapore Government available to offset the costs arising from granting its employees the pro-family leave entitlements.

Re-employment of older employees

  • Re-employment age raised to 67: The new re-employment age will be raised from 65 to 67 and will apply to Singapore citizens and permanent residents who are born on or after 1 July 1952;
  • Eligible employees may be re-employed by another employer: An employer who is unable to offer a suitable position to the employee may transfer his re-employment obligations to another employer, provided that (i) the transfer is done with the employee's consent; and (ii) the receiving employer agrees to take over all applicable re-employment obligations;
  • Employers not permitted to cut employees' wages at age 60: Employers will no longer be permitted to reduce the salary for employees who turn 60 years of age; and
  • Increase in Employment Assistance Payment (EAP) amounts: The revised Tripartite Guidelines on the Re-employment of Older Employees will increase the maximum EAP from the current amount of SGD 10,000 to SGD 13,000.

The changes to the re-employment of older employees are positive measures introduced by the Ministry of Manpower to cope with Singapore's ageing population. Employers should ensure it has appropriate policies in place to comply with the new requirements as directed by the Ministry of Manpower.

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