Doing Business

Public Holidays in ASEAN countries (Part 3 – Singapore)

Trường Lăng

January 1, 2023

Doing Business

Public Holidays in ASEAN countries (Part 3 – Singapore)

Trường Lăng

January 1, 2023

Singapore is a melting pot of diverse cultures with a socio-cultural fabric of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, among others. This distinct yet harmonious blend of various traditional customs has brought about colorful public holidays and celebrations all year round. Thus, when venturing into Singapore, the cultural environment does affect how investors do business. This article provides you with insightful information about Singapore’s national holidays, and tips to legal compliances.

Major public holidays in Singapore

Chinese New Year is the most anticipated public holiday in Singapore. Similar to Tet Holiday of Vietnam, on this occasion, people return home to celebrate the new year with family and friends. In Chinatown, Chinese New Year activities are often held, namely lion and dragon dance, visiting temples, among others. 

10 Best Places to Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Singapore! - Venuerific
Chinese New Year in Singapore (Source: Venuerific)

In addition, both Thailand and Singapore have a public holiday for the birth, the enlightenment,  and the death of the Buddha. Yet, in Singapore, it is called “Vesak Day” when people of the Buddhist community practice public talks, vegetarian food fairs and hymn singing. 

Vesak Day in Singapore - Celebrating Buddha's Birthday
Vesak Day in Singapore (Source: Gift Giving Ideas)

Hari Raya Puasa – one of the most important events for the Malay community in Singapore – is commonly known as Eid Ul Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan. Meanwhile, known as the Feast of Sacrifice, Hari Raya Haji marks the end of the Haj pilgrimage to one of the holiest cities – Mecca. People spend these holidays by wearing their finest clothes, visiting families and friends and joining the thanksgiving feast. 

Hari Raya Puasa 2023 in Singapore - Dates
Hari Raya Puasa in SIngapore (Source: Internet)
Calendar of Singapore’s Public Holidays (Source: The Ministry of Manpower)

Implications of public holidays for enterprises and companies  in respect of the Calculation of Employee Salary and Holidays

Under the Employment Act 1968, employees are entitled to 10 paid public holidays annually. Therefore, if employers require their employees to work on one of those holidays, they are to pay an extra day’s salary or offer a grant. 

Additionally, in case a public holiday coincides with a non-working day, employees have another day off or one extra day’s salary instead of the paid public holiday at the gross rate. At the same time, if a public holiday falls on the rest day, the following working day will be regarded as a paid public holiday. 

However, in case the employees are not covered by the Employment Act, the Employee salary on public holidays will be decided based on the terms of the labor contract. 

How are employees qualified for a paid public holiday?

In 2 scenarios as follow, employees are paid at their gross rate on a public holiday:

  • Not absent on the working day immediately before or after a holiday without any reasonable excuse and consent of the employers. 
  • Or on authorized leave due to reasonable excuse on the day right before or after a holiday. 

Otherwise, if the holiday falls into approved unpaid leave, employees are not qualified for a holiday pay. 

How employers pay for employees in case they work on holiday?

By default, when employees work on a public holiday, employers are to pay them an additional day’s pay. Yet, under mutual agreement, employees can have alternative options, which are a public holiday or a time off. If any public holiday falls on a rest day, the working day next following that rest day is a paid holiday

Meanwhile, when the employees are required to work on public holidays, they are to be paid the following: The gross rate of pay for that day; An extra day’s salary at the basic rate of pay; and Any traveling allowance, if payable under the terms of their employment contract. The extra day’s salary can be replaced by either another day off.. 

One mindful note for investors in Singapore is that holidays will affect the tax planning of investors. If the legal and compliance due dates coincide with public holidays, they might be extended. Thus, paying attention to national holidays is essential. Being attentive to public holidays may help investors schedule their tax compliance ahead of the due date, hence fulfilling tax obligations on time. 

To avoid future legal violations, investors are  advised to consult leading experts in the field. In this way, investors can reduce the risk of non-compliance, and legal concerns, thus focusing more on core business activities. With decades  of experience in many Southeast Asia markets, along with a team of seasoned and professional experts insightful of the regional and domestic markets, Viettonkin is willing to accompany and support investors along Singapore’s legal procedures and compliance.

Related posts

Doing Business

Unlocking Potential in Indonesia’s Booming Digital Economy: Opportunities and Challenges for FDI investors

Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, is undergoing a significant digital transformation. Driven by increased internet penetration and a tech-savvy population, Indonesia’s digital economy ...
Read more
Doing Business

Why is the Services Sector in Malaysia a Goldmine for Investors?

Malaysia, as the fifth-largest economy in ASEAN, boasts a diverse services sector that spans finance, tourism, healthcare, education, telecommunications, and professional services. These industries collectively ...
Read more
Doing Business

Beyond borders: How localization services fuel FDI growth in Vietnam

In recent years, Vietnam has emerged as a prime destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), attracting multinational corporations from across the globe. Vietnam’s dynamic economy, ...
Read more
Doing Business

Agricultural prosperity: The untapped investment opportunities in Malaysia

Malaysia, as the fifth-largest economy in ASEAN, boasts a robust agriculture sector that spans palm oil, rubber, cocoa, pepper, and tropical fruits. These industries collectively ...
Read more

Download our Latest Ebook about Real Estate and Property!

Real estate holds a pivotal position in the development of a country, not only via the spillover impacts on other economic sectors such as construction, manufacturing, tourism, finance and banking etc. but also affecting the social dynamic by mobilizing the residency and infrastructure system. Foreign direct investment in real estate (RFDI) in Vietnam has a long running history and is unique in that it is largely dominated by the private sector compared to other industries which usually still have a rather large Government involvement. International capital has consistently been selecting real estate as the destination of choice, given that RDI has always been in the top 2 and 3 for volume inflow over the last 10 years, even throughout extremely turbulent periods such as COVID-19, per the General Statistics Office of Vietnam’s (GSO) data. Find out more in this ebook edition.

Tải cuốn ebook mới nhất về nền kinh tế số Việt Nam!

The digital economy of Vietnam has been fueled and accelerated by the global digital trends and the pandemic Covid-19. The movement of digital transformation is underway in every corner of Vietnamese life, strongly influencing the way people do things. Digital economy is the future of the Vietnam economy. Realizing the potential of the digital economy, the Vietnam government has issued policies, guidelines and created legal frameworks to support and further enhance this economy. In this ebook edition, the digital economy is looked at from different angles. Perspectives from the key elements comprising Vietnam digital economy are examined and discovered.

Our Happy Clients