Singaporeans will get 7 long weekends next year – here’s how you could make that 10 instead

People enjoying the Istana grounds at the Deepavali Istana Open House On November 6, 2018.
The Straits Times

Want to go on a short weekend getaway but can never find the time? 2020 may be just the year for you.

According to the schedule of public holidays published by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Monday (April 8), there will be a total of seven long weekends for employees who work Mondays through Fridays next year.

According to MOM, there will be four holidays falling on Fridays, including Good Friday (April 10), Labour day (May 1), Hari Raya Haji (July 31), and Christmas Day (December 25).

In addition, there will be two public holidays on Sundays. This means the following Monday will be treated as a public holiday instead.

Public holidays that will fall on a Sunday include Chinese New Year, which falls on January 25 to 26 (Saturday to Sunday), and Hari Raya Puasa on May 24.

This brings the total number of long weekends to seven. The last time Singapore had seven long weekends in a single year was in 2017.

10 long weekends possible

Depending on where you work, the number of long weekends for 2020 could even go up to 10. This is because there are two public holidays which fall on a Saturday, and one that falls on a Thursday.

The two holidays falling on Saturdays are: Chinese New Year on Jan 25 and Deepavali on November 14.

Singapore’s public holidays in 2020
Ministry of Manpower

MOM says on its website that under the Employment Act, if a public holiday falls on a non-working day, an employee is entitled to another day off or one day’s salary.

This means that workers who usually work Mondays to Fridays could get days off in lieu of the public holidays on January 25 and November 14.

For example, an employee could get a four-day long weekend since Chinese New Year falls on Saturday and Sunday. Not only is the following Monday (January 27) a public holiday, one could also apply to claim their off-in-lieu for the January 25 holiday on Tuesday, January 28.

Workers who apply for leave on May 8 will also get an extra long weekend that includes Vesak Day, which falls on May 7, a Thursday.

Workers who are not covered by the Employment Act are exempted from these entitlements.

Working on a public holiday

In its statement, MOM said that under the current Employment Act, employees who are required to work on a public holiday are entitled to an extra day’s salary. Alternatively, the employer and employee may mutually agree to substitute a public holiday for another working day.

An employer also has the additional option of granting time-off-in-lieu, based on a mutually agreed number of hours, for working on a public holiday for these three groups of employees:

  • Workmen earning more than $4,500 a month
  • Non-workmen earning more than $2,600 a month
  • All managers and executives.