Unpaid Leave Policy


Dear HR folks,

May I check if your company imposes any policy for taking unpaid leave? Example: Unpaid leave only allows for a duration eg. of 90 days per year (whether taken continuously or not), any further unpaid leave request is not allowed and employees may choose to resign if leave is inevitable.






Our policy is excessive unpaid leave and absence without valid reasons, amounting to 7 days in a month, shall be cause for immediate termination with a 1-day notice.





No specific policy, on a case-to-case basis.





To begin with we need to understand why the employee takes excessive unpaid leaves after exhausting all leave entitlement for the year. It is a pay cut for the employee and could be something that cannot be avoided. Have a good chat and find out the reasons behind it and perhaps recommend part-time employment if the employee is worth keeping.

Imposing unpaid leaves policy may not be necessary as taking excessive unpaid leaves is rare unless your annual leave entitlement is only 7 days per annum. In that case, we should consider increasing the annual leave entitlement.




Are there any guidelines on how many days of unpaid leave a staff is entitled to?



The entitlement to unpaid leave often depends on the employment contract, company policies, and negotiations between the employee and employer. There is no statutory guideline in Singapore that specifies the exact number of days an employee is entitled to for unpaid leave. Generally, unpaid leave is granted at the discretion of the employer and is typically used in situations where the employee has exhausted their paid leave entitlements, such as annual leave or medical leave.

Employers need to set out the terms and conditions for unpaid leave in their HR policies to ensure a clear understanding between both parties. For instance, some companies may allow unpaid leave for personal reasons, extended maternity/paternity leave, or further studies, but these guidelines should be communicated to employees.

If you have specific questions or need assistance in drafting or reviewing your company's leave policies, HRSINGAPORE can help. Our HR Consultancy Services can provide you with expert advice tailored to your company's needs. Moreover, for a deeper understanding of HR practices, you might want to consider our HR Certification, HRLAW Seminars, and HR Training courses, which offer comprehensive coverage of HR responsibilities and legal considerations in Singapore.

Please visit our website, hrsingapore.org, to learn more about our services and how we can assist you further.



Are there any guidelines on urgent leave and is there any cap on the number of days for urgent leave?



In Singapore, urgent leave, often referred to as compassionate or emergency leave, is typically granted to employees dealing with unforeseen circumstances such as a family emergency or the death of a close relative. However, there is no statutory guideline that dictates the number of days entitled for urgent leave.

Similar to unpaid leave, the provision for urgent leave is generally determined by the employer and outlined in the company's HR policies. Employers are encouraged to be reasonable and flexible when granting urgent leave, considering the nature of the emergency the employee is facing.

The number of days for urgent leave and the circumstances under which it can be taken are usually defined by company policy. Some businesses might offer a few days per year, while others might assess each situation on a case-by-case basis.

For companies looking to establish or refine their urgent leave policies, HRSINGAPORE's HR Consultancy Services can provide valuable guidance to ensure that your policies are both supportive of your employees' needs and aligned with best practices. Additionally, our HR Certification and HRLAW Seminars can offer you deeper insights into the legal aspects of leave management and other HR-related matters in Singapore.

For more detailed advice and information on urgent leave policies and other HR concerns, consider enriching your knowledge and competencies through our HR Training courses. You're welcome to explore the range of services we offer by visiting our website at hrsingapore.org.



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