2022 Public Holidays Entitlement HR Guide in Singapore

Singapore public holidays

Public holidays in Singapore are festive times to celebrate, enjoy friends, spend time with family, and – of course – take time off of work.

As an HR director or manager, public holidays can at times be a little difficult to navigate. How do we handle pay? What if some employees insist on working?

You might even get a little anxious around the topic of gifts. Should you give employee gifts on public holidays? Which holidays?

We’re here to cover all of those questions and more in this public holidays entitlement HR guide.

2022 Singapore Public Holidays

Most years, there are eleven Singapore public holidays, spread throughout the year celebrating a range of religious and national holidays. These are joyous days for you and your employees to enjoy! 

As listed by the Ministry of Manpower, here are the eleven public holidays on the Singapore calendar in 2022:

  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • February 1-2: Chinese New Year
  • April 15: Good Friday
  • May 1: Labour Day
  • May 3: Hari Raya Puasa
  • May 15: Vesak Day
  • July 10: Hari Raya Haji
  • August 9: National Day
  • October 24: Deepavali
  • December 25: Christmas Day

If the public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be a public holiday off-in-lieu. 

Public Holiday Entitlement and Pay

Your employees are entitled to their gross rate of pay on a public holiday if they weren’t inexcusably absent on the day before or after the holiday and the holiday doesn’t fall during approved unpaid leave.

If you have a go-getter employee who winds up working on a holiday, they are entitled to an additional day’s pay at the basic rate of pay, per the Ministry of Manpower.

If your employee is not covered under Part IV of the Employment Act, you may grant them time off in lieu for working on a public holiday. The time off should consist of number of hours the two of you agree to.

Corporate Gifts on Public Holidays

Once you’ve got the basics of holiday entitlement and pay, the next question is, “Should we give employee gifts on public holidays?” It’s a great question. 

Public holidays offer a great opportunity for you to honour your employees with gifts. As we’ll discuss, many of Singapore’s public holidays aren’t exactly common gift-giving holidays, which gives you a great chance to really surprise and delight your team. 

Instead of thinking, “Which holidays do I have to give my employees gifts,” try to think in a mindset of, “On which holidays can I treat and honour my employees?”

The added benefit of corporate gifts is the opportunity to throw your logo on it. This is a subtle way to constantly remind your employee that you appreciate them, as they’re constantly reminded who gave them the gift.

What Type of Employee Gift to Give for Each Holiday?

So what type of gift should you give your employees at each holiday? Or which holidays should you consider gifting at all? Let’s look at a few holidays and what to consider at each.

New Year’s Day Gifts

An employee appreciation gift is a great way to kick off the year. It’s not a must by any means, but definitely a good idea. Consider wine accessories, a branded champagne flute, coffee mug, or simply a letter of appreciation that shows you and management are looking forward to a great year.

Chinese New Year Gifts

Like New Year’s Day, most of your employees are probably not expecting a gift on Chinese New Year, but that doesn’t mean an employee gift wouldn’t make for a great surprise! Consider giving something red or tea-related. You might also consider a corporate gift basket with a few things in it.

Labour Day Gifts

At the heart of the May Day celebration is honouring our workers and their contributions to the country. This makes it a great holiday to give employees gifts. Consider something that makes their work lives easier – like a branded desktop accessory or a branded bluetooth speaker.

National Day Gifts

National Day commemorates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965. It’s another holiday where gifts aren’t exactly the norm – but that doesn’t mean you can’t surprise and treat your employees. Consider gifting something simple and useful!

Christmas Day Gifts

Unlike a lot of the other public holidays we’ve looked at, Christmas is the holiday for gifts! Failing to give a gift on Christmas probably wouldn’t result in any employees walking out on you, but many employees likely expect at least something. 

If you have a small team, consider getting personalised and unique gifts for each team member. This is a great way to wow them and create a special memory with your company. If you have a larger team, this might not be possible. In that case, consider something meaningful. A pen or USB case might be nice on other occasions, but Christmas requires a little more thought.

Consider gifting your employees something fun like a portable popcorn machine, a smart device, or stylish shirt.

Other Holidays

Good Friday, Hari Raya Puasa, Vesak Day, Hari Raya Haji, and Deepavali are all religious holidays. It can be a nice gesture to give gifts to employees you know celebrate the holidays, and it can even be appropriate to give gifts to all of your employees on these days – but it’s entirely up to you and your company’s culture.

The Heart of Employee Gifts

At the end of the day, you should give employees gifts to show appreciation and thanks for their contributions to your company. Holidays provide a great opportunity to do this, but you shouldn’t limit your gifting only to public holidays. 

Let your team know you appreciate them. It will be well worth the investment as you create a culture of gratitude in your workplace and retain top talent for years to come!

Categorized as HR