SINGAPORE: Employers and self—employed women will be able to make monthly reimbursement claims for Government Paid Maternity Leave (GPML) from August 2.
The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has revised the payment guidelines to allow monthly claims for GPML. This is in response to a suggestion raised through the Pro—Enterprise Panel to make the scheme more business—friendly.
For first and second—order births, employers can make monthly reimbursement claims from the government after they have fulfilled their obligations for the first eight weeks of maternity leave.
For the third and subsequent child, where the 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.
Under the GPML scheme, eligible employees are granted 16 weeks of maternity leave.
Employers pay these employees the maternity leave benefits and subsequently seek reimbursement from MCYS or the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board for the government—paid portion. This can range from eight to 16 weeks, depending on the birth order of the child.
For first and second births, the first eight weeks of leave are borne by the employer, while the government reimburses the employer for the last eight weeks of maternity leave.
For third and subsequent birth orders, the government reimburses the employer the full 16 weeks of leave taken.
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.
Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Mdm Halimah Yacob, said: "This move will enable more timely claims for the GPML. It will be of particular benefit to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 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."
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