Annual Leave Eligibility and Entitlement

Dear HR Professionals,

Under the Employment Act, an employee needs to work for at least 3 months before he or she is entitled to the leave entitlement right. Can a company refuse to approve the leave until the employee pass her probation?

I am from a recruitment agency and one of my candidates has been working in a company coming to 4 months. However, her probation period has been extended due to inability to hit her target. The employer told her that she will have to clear her probation first before she is entitled to the leave entitlement. Is this practice legal and proper?

Thank you.





Yes, follow MOM guidelines during the probationary period. However, the employer can grant “no pay” leave, that is deductible from the employee’s salary. - Rose


Do you know what's indicated in her employment letter with regards to her probation period?
However, I feel that this practice is not right. - Cheryl


The employer maintains the right to approve the leave application of an employee (regardless of when). While leave entitlement kicks in after the employee had worked for 3 months, that is if the employee is NON-PME. - Hans Shu


Nope, no matter how long her probation is, the employer still needs to provide leave entitlement after 3 months of service. Eg, staff join on 1/1 and he can start to use his leave from 1/4 onwards. - Nicole


The entitlement applies after 3 months in service, even if staff still on probation. - Nur Azirah


Kindly let your candidate’s employer knows that regardless of her probation status, she is entitled to leave as long as she is in service with the company for more than 3 months Leave have to be prorated in accordance to handbook entitlement for normal staff. She is also entitled to medical leave. - SS


The Employment Act of Singapore does not have any clauses that specify the probation period for employees. However, the standard practice is to have a probation period ranging between 3 and 6 months, to gauge the performance of the new employee. - KH


I suppose that should be legal & Proper provided you're putting the terms & condition in the Letter of employment or in the Company HR Manual For example: "A newly appointed employee is eligible to apply for annual leave if he has completed his probation period with the Company. The employee shall accrue earned leave starting from his/her initial hire date and have his leave pro-rated according to his leave entitlement for the year."

Hope this will benefit you. - Noor


In my previous company, during the interview when making the job offer to the candidate, it is explained to the candidate that as long as the candidate is on probation, all benefits including any form of leave, it would be on no-pay leave basis. Even medical certificates are not considered. So if the person wanted to take annual or sick leave, it would be considered no pay leave.

Whether legal or not, as it is explained in the Employment Act under MOM, if you have a contract with the company and the person signed the letter of offer in acknowledgement of the contract terms, the contract terms and conditions take precedence over the employment act. This is what I understand.

Hope this is helpful. - Jennifer



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