Excess unused leave? Employer makes one-off policy change

Singapore’s civil servants have more options on how to use their annual leave this year

Excess unused leave? Employer makes one-off policy change

Many employees have found themselves unable to clear their annual leave due to the pandemic. In a one-off policy change, the civil service in Singapore are offering workers more options to use their remaining leave days.

Civil servants and public healthcare workers have options to:

  • Carry forward half of their annual leaves from 2019 into 2021
  • Encash a part of their unused leave – including leave days from 2019

Carrying over leave days and partial encashment have always been allowed for employees. However, under the current policy, any unused days from the year before, for example from 2019, will be forfeited if left unclaimed by the end of 2020.

Read more: Why are employees failing to take their entire annual leave?

The Public Service Division’s (PSD) flexibility was made following of a difficult year – especially for front liners and healthcare workers.

“This is a one-off measure to recognise the efforts of our officers in fighting the COVID-19 situation, and as a result are unable to consume their accumulated vacation leave,” PSD said in a statement.

Healthcare workers can enjoy the same new perk, as well as the ability to carry over their outstanding leave in full, reported The Straits Times.

The Ministry of Health said that workers may have missed the opportunity to utilise their leave entitlements after working ‘tirelessly’ on the front lines.

Read more: Why leaders should take a 'mental health day'

PSD ‘strongly encouraged’ statutory boards in Singapore, which are organisations that operate in support of the different ministries, to adopt similar measures.

The government’s leave policy change may not apply to the private sector.

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