Career

What is Off-in-Lieu Leave and Are You Entitled to it?

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Have you ever had to work on weekends? Or ever went on a work trip that stretched over a weekend? Or maybe you are just working overtime a lot?

If you are, you should discuss with your boss about getting off-in-lieu to make up for all those extra work hours you put in. If you don’t know what that is, here’s a starter guide to understanding your off-in-lieu entitlements.

 

What’s the meaning of off-in-lieu?

Off-in-lieu is the extra paid time off work that an employee is allowed to take after he/she has worked overtime. Of course, this largely depends on your discussion and negotiation with your boss as well.

The word “lieu” means “instead”, so off-in-lieu means “time off instead”. Instead of getting paid more for working overtime, the person gets to take extra time off work.

 

What about a day off in lieu of public holiday?

The Employment Act under the Ministry of Manpower pertains to all employees under a contract of service with an employer. Under this act, employees are entitled to 11 paid public holidays in a year.

So if a public holiday falls on a non-working day, employees can get an extra day off the next working day (unless otherwise arranged with your boss for an off-in-lieu day off to be taken at a later date) or a pro-rated day of salary if an employee is not able to take an extra day off due to work requirements.

Note that a non-working day differs between those who are on a 5-day work week and those who are on a 6-day work week.

For example, if you have a 6-day work week, a public holiday that falls on a Saturday will not give you an extra day of on Monday the following week.

That being said, it is possible for your boss to ask you to work on a public holiday, whether it falls on your working day or not. It’s not against the law. However, your boss will have to compensate you with an off-in-lieu day off or an extra day of salary.

 

What about being asked to work on my rest day?

There’s a specific section under the Employment Act that is applicable to employees who earn up to $2,600 per month, and workmen who earn up to $4,500 per month. These employees are entitled to rest days.

Rest days refer to days when the employee is not working and does not receive pay. For example, if you work on shifts, a rest day could be a period of 30 non-working hours for you.

Unless there are compelling reasons like an accident or necessary work that has to be done for the defence of Singapore, your boss cannot make you work on your rest day. If you do have to work, you should be given an off-in-lieu day off.

If a public holiday falls on your rest day, you are entitled to a paid day off the next working day or a later date, as arranged with your boss.

If you had to work on a public holiday, which falls on your rest day, you will be compensated monetarily based on the length of time you worked and who had requested to work.

Scenario 1: Your boss had requested for you to work and you worked more than half your normal working hours. You should be compensated with two pro-rated days of salary.

Scenario 2: Your boss had requested for you to work and you worked half your normal working hours. You should be compensated with a pro-rated day of salary.

Scenario 3: You had requested to work and you worked more than half your normal working hours. You should be compensated with a pro-rated day of salary.

Scenario 4: You had requested to work and you worked half your normal working hours. You should be compensated with a pro-rated half-day salary.

Do you have any questions about off-in-lieu? 

 

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