Singapore is a country full of cultural diversity. Many people of Malay, Chinese, and Indian descent have been residing there for centuries, thus giving the country its multicultural character. Each distinct culture also has its own public holidays which are celebrated. The official list of public holidays in Singapore is decided by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) which must keep in mind the religious and cultural value of each holiday.
Public Holidays in Singapore
The Singapore authorities have published the list of public holidays in 2020 for everyone in the country. There are a total of 11 official public holidays in Singapore. These public holidays include New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Good Friday, Labor Day, Vesak Day, Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Haji, National Day, Deepavali, and Christmas.
It should also be noted that some of these public holidays will serve to extend the weekend because of their date. In 2020, everyone in Singapore will have three long weekends to enjoy public holidays.
Dates of Public Holidays in Singapore in 2020
- New Year’s Day will fall on January 1, 2020
- Chinese New Year will fall on January 25-26, 2020;as it falls over a weekend, the following Monday will also be a holiday
- Good Friday will fall on April 10, 2020
- Labor Day will fall on May 1, 2020
- Vesak Day will fall on May 7, 2020
- Hari Raya Puasa will fall on May 24, 2020; as it falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will also be a holiday
- Hari Raya Haji will fall on July 31, 2020
- National Day will fall on August 9, 2020; as it falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will also be a holiday
- Deepavali will fall on November 14, 2020
- Christmas Day will fall on December 25, 2020
As can be seen from the preceding list, if any public holiday happens to fall on a Sunday, the following Monday will also be regarded as a public holiday.
On many an occasion, the directors, managers, or employees of a company based in Singapore have to work on a public holiday due to certain unavoidable circumstances. In this situation, certain provisions which have been specified in the Employment Act go into effect. Such provisions first took effect on April 1, 2019. All employers in Singapore ought to note that if an employee is required to work on a public holiday, such an employee is entitled to an extra day’s salary at the basic rate of pay as stated by authorities. Any employer and employee can hold discussions so that they may mutually agree to substitute the official public holiday for another working day.
All employers based in Singapore who employ employees who have to work on public holidays are granted permission to exercise certain options such as providing additional vacation time based on the agreed number of hours for which the employee is to work. Different provisions apply to different groups of employees. These groups are as follows: managers and executives who earn more than S$4,500 every month, non-workpeople who do not earn more than S$2,600 per month, and all general employees.
As has been mentioned, should any public holiday in Singapore fall on a Sunday, the Monday which directly follows it will be regarded as a public holiday. Therefore, most employees will not be required to work on the Monday which follows a public holiday which falls on a Sunday. In 2020, such a situation applies to Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, and National Day.
The rights of all employees and employers which are related to working on public holidays are overseen and protected by the Ministry of Manpower. The Ministry of Manpower may also impose punishments on employers who do not uphold the employment rights of their employees, including those related to public holidays in Singapore.