Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML)

Working mothers are entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave. The 16 weeks of leave are to be consumed over a continuous period. Mothers can start consuming maternity leave up to 4 weeks before the date of delivery. However, if there is mutual agreement between the employee (mother) and the employer, the last eight weeks (9th to 16th week) of the maternity leave can be taken flexibly over a period of 12 months from the date of delivery.

Maternity Leave Eligibility

A. Mother is eligible for Maternity Leave Benefits under the GPML if:

  • The child is a Singapore citizen, even if the mother or father are not
  • For employees: has been working for current employer for at least 3 continuous months immediately before child’s date of birth
  • For self-employed: has been engaged in self-employed work for at least 3 continuous months immediately before child’s date of birth
  • Employee has given at least 1 week’s notice to employer before going on maternity leave, and informed them as soon as possible of the delivery. Otherwise, the employee is only entitled to half the payment during maternity leave, unless there is a good enough reason for not giving the notice.

B. If the Child is not a Singapore citizen, the employee (mother) will be eligible for maternity leave if:

  • The employee (mother) is covered by the Employment Act.
  • For employees: has been working for current employer for at least 3 continuous months immediately before child’s date of birth
  • For self-employed: has been engaged in self-employed work for at least 3 continuous months immediately before child’s date of birth
  • Employee has given at least 1 week’s notice to employer before going on maternity leave, and informed them as soon as possible of the delivery. Otherwise, the employee is only entitled to half the payment during maternity leave, unless there is a good enough reason for not giving the notice.

C. If the Employee (Mother) has worked for employer for less than 3 continuous months, will be eligible for maternity leave if:

*The Maternity Self-Assessment tool can be used to verify one’s eligibility and entitlement

Maternity Leave Entitlement

A. Entitlement for Eligible Employees (Mothers)

  • Employee (Mother) is entitled to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave.
  • Employee should have given at least 1 week’s notice to employer before going on maternity leave, and informed them as soon as possible of the delivery. Otherwise, the employee is only entitled to half the payment during maternity leave, unless there is a good enough reason for not giving the notice.
  • The employer will pay the employee’s usual monthly salary during the leave period. They can then claim reimbursement from the Government in accordance with the Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) scheme.

B. Entitlement for Eligible Mother of non-Singapore citizen child

  • Employee (Mother) is entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave
  • The employer will pay the employee’s usual monthly salary for the first 8 weeks if:
    • Employee has worked for at least 3 continuous months before the birth.
    • Employee has fewer than 2 living children of her own at the time of delivery. In the case of multiple births (e.g. twins, triplets, etc.) during the first pregnancy, the employer is still required to pay 8 weeks of maternity leave for the next pregnancy.
    • Employee has given at least 1 week’s notice to employer before going on maternity leave, and informed them as soon as possible of the delivery. Otherwise, the employee is only entitled to half the payment during maternity leave, unless there is a good enough reason for not giving the notice.
  • The last 4 weeks of maternity leave is unpaid. Whether the employer pays the employee during the last 4 weeks of maternity leave depends on the employee’s employment contract.

C. Entitlement for Eligible Mother who has worked for employer for less than 3 continuous months

  • Employee is entitled to a 12-week unpaid maternity leave

Maternity Leave in Special Situations

A. Foreigner or permanent resident working in Singapore

  • Regardless of nationality, employee is entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave if covered by the Employment Act and has served the employer for at least 3 months.
  • Employee may qualify for 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave if child is a Singapore citizen and the eligibility criteria are met.

B. Single or unmarried

C. Contract, temporary or part-time employees

  • Employee is eligible for maternity leave if the eligibility criteria are met. Employee will be paid at the gross rate for each day that she would normally have been required to work under her contract.

D. Employee on Probation

E. Birth of Twins

  • This will be treated as a single delivery. Mother will not receive double maternity benefits.

F. Premature Birth

  • If the eligibility criteria are met, maternity leave should start on the birth date of the child, or earlier if there is a mutual agreement between employer and employee.

G. Stillbirth

  • Eligible employee is entitled to full maternity leave if the child is stillborn or dies shortly after birth. The stillbirth will not be counted in determining the employee’s eligibility for maternity leave benefits for the next delivery.

H. Abortion or Miscarriage

  • This is not eligible for maternity leave but a paid sick leave may be availed of, if applicable.

I. Falling sick during maternity leave

  • Employee is not entitled to paid sick leave while on maternity leave.

Employer Reimbursement for Government-Paid Maternity Leave

For Foreign Employees

  • Employers are required to notify MOM if the foreign worker is pregnant.

Before the employee goes on childcare leave:

Once employee returns from Maternity Leave:

  • Submit claim for reimbursement at www.profamilyleave.gov.sg in accordance with the Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) scheme
    • Submit the claim within 3 months of employee’s last day of maternity leave.
    • Keep employee’s declaration form for 3 years, for audit purposes.

Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) scheme:

BirthsPaid by EmployerReimbursed by Government
First and secondFirst 8 weeksLast 8 weeks
Third and SubsequentAll 16 weeks

Maternity Leave Protection and Obligations

Maternity Protection for an employee

If the employer terminates a pregnant employee’s employment without sufficient cause, or retrenches an employee during pregnancy, they must pay the maternity benefits that the employee would have been eligible for.

To qualify for this maternity protection, the employee must have:

  • Worked for the employer for at least 3 months before receiving the notice of dismissal or retrenchment.
  • Been certified pregnant by a medical practitioner before receiving the notice of dismissal or retrenchment.

Employee’s Obligations

1. Give your employer early notice (at least 1 week) of your leave arrangement. This allows your employer time to verify your eligibility and make alternative work arrangements.

2. Submit the declaration form (GPML1) to your employer with all the necessary supporting documents. 

3. Apply for maternity leave according to your employer’s leave application procedures.

4. You should reach an agreement with your employer on how and when you intend to take the leave.

5. You cannot work for another employer during your maternity leave. If you do so, your maternity benefit will be forfeited and you may also be dismissed.

Employer’s Obligations

1. Continue to pay an employee’s salary throughout her maternity leave as if she had been working without a break.

2. Not ask an employee to work during the first 4 weeks of her confinement.

3. Submit your employee’s claims online via the GPL Portal no later than 3 months after the last date of your employee’s maternity leave taken.

Available Options in Planning for an Employee’s Maternity Leave

An eligible employee may take her maternity leave either in one block or spread out over 12 months. It is recommended that an arrangement be worked out to suit the needs of both the employer and employee.

Plan the maternity leave based on the following considerations:

Arrangement16 weeks12 weeks
By default Includes non-working days, rest days, and public holidaysTake the 16 weeks continuously, starting 4 weeks before delivery.Take the 12 weeks continuously, starting 4 weeks before delivery
By mutual agreement Includes non-working days, rest days and public holidaysStart anytime within 4 weeks before delivery.Example: If the expected date of delivery is 7 July, employee can start her leave between 9 June and 7 July.She must take the first 8 weeks in one continuous stretch.She can take the last 8 weeks flexibly over 12 months from her child’s birth.Start anytime within 4 weeks before deliveryExample: If the expected date of delivery is 7 July, employee can start her leave between 9 June and 7 JulyShe must take the first 8 weeks in one continuous stretchShe can take the last 4 weeks flexibly over 12 months from her child’s birth
Flexible leave calculation Doesn’t include non-working days, rest days, and public holidays8 weeks x the number of working days in the week, capped at 48 working days4 weeks x the number of working days in the week, capped at 24 working days

Arrangements for flexible leave

  • Employee should work out her flexible leave arrangements, if to be availed, with her employer.
  • Employee can consider including half-day work schemes or shortened 3-day workweeks in her flexible leave.
  • Both employee and employer should also agree on the possible situations that may arise from taking the leave flexibly. For example:
    • How employee’s work performance will be assessed.
    • Whether employee can go back to taking the maternity leave as a continuous block.
    • Whether employee can bring forward the flexible leave should she opt to resign.