Employers can now make monthly claims for maternity leave

Employers can now make monthly claims for maternity leave

SINGAPORE - From August 2, 2012, employers and self-employed women will be able to make monthly reimbursement claims for Government Paid Maternity Leave (GPML).

Currently, eligible employees are granted 16 weeks of maternity leave under the GPML scheme.

Employers pay these employees the maternity leave benefits and subsequently seek reimbursement from the Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports (MCYS)/Central Provident Fund Board for the Government-paid portion.

This can range from 8 to 16 weeks, depending on the birth order of the child.

Currently, employers can only make two GPML claims per employee within the first year from the child's birth. The first claim can be made any time after the first eight weeks of maternity leave.

The second claim can only be made after the mother has consumed her full entitlement. For mothers who choose to take the maternity leave flexibly, employers may have to wait up to the end of the 12 month period to make the second claim for the remaining GPML portion.

In response to a suggestion raised to make the scheme more business friendly, MCYS has revised the payment guidelines to allow monthly claims for GPML.

For first and second order births, employers can make the claims they have fulfilled their obligations for the first eight weeks of maternity leave.

For the third and subsequent child, where Government pays for the full 16 weeks leave, employers can submit monthly reimbursement claims for leave taken by the employee from the first month onwards.

The same arrangements will be extended to self employed women.

In a statement to the media Mom Halima Jacob, Minister of State for MCYS, said that the move will be of particular benefit to Small and Medium Enterprises as well as self-employed women.

"This in turn would help women in taking maternity leave more flexibly within one year from their child's birth," she added.

More details can be found at www.profamilyleave.gov.sg. The public can also call the hotline at 1800-2271188.

dassa@sph.com.sg

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