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What is off in lieu?

Did you work outside of your working days? Or did you go on a business trip that stretched over a weekend? If so, you should discuss getting off in lieu with your supervisor to make up for all the extra work hours you put in. It is also equally important that supervisors and business owners read this guide to properly compensate for any extra work done. Here's a guide to tell you what off in lieu is and to better understand what you're entitled to.

What is Off In Lieu?

Off in lieu refers to additional paid time off granted to employees after working overtime. The availability of this benefit is subject to discussion and negotiation with one's employer.

The term "lieu" signifies "instead," making off in lieu synonymous with "time off instead." Rather than receiving extra pay for working overtime, the individual has the option to utilize the accrued time off instead.

How About a Day Off In Lieu?

The Employment Act, administered by the Ministry of Manpower, applies to all employees who have a contractual agreement with their employer. According to this act, employees are entitled to 11 paid public holidays annually.

Suppose a public holiday falls on a day when employees are not required to work. In that case, they can either enjoy an additional day off on the next working day (unless alternative arrangements are made with their boss for taking an off in lieu day at a later date) or receive a pro-rated day of salary if they are unable to take an extra day off due to work commitments.

It is important to note that what constitutes a non-working day varies between those on a 5-day work week and those on a 6-day work week. For example, individuals with a 6-day work week will not receive an additional day off on the following Monday if a public holiday falls on a Saturday.

Additionally, employers have the right to request employees to work on a public holiday, regardless of whether it aligns with their regular working day or not. However, it is not illegal, as the employer is required to compensate the employee with an off in lieu day off or an extra day's salary as per the arrangements made.

What Kind Of Employee Benefits Am I Entitled To?

Below are some common employee benefits provided to employees in Singapore:

  1. Central Provident Fund (CPF): Employers are required to contribute a portion of the employee's salary to their CPF account. This applies to Singapore citizens and permanent residents.
  2. Annual Leave: Employees receive paid annual leave, typically based on the length of service and company policy. The Employment Act mandates a minimum of 7 days, but commonly, 14 days are granted.
  3. Medical Insurance Benefits: Employers often offer medical coverage for outpatient and inpatient medical expenses, although it is not mandatory under the Employment Act.
  4. Dental Benefits: Some companies provide dental benefits or dental insurance coverage to their employees.
  5. Maternity and Paternity Leave: Female employees are entitled to maternity leave, and male employees may receive paternity leave.
  6. Public Holidays: Employees are entitled to paid time off on Singapore's public holidays.
  7. Sick Leave: Paid sick leave is provided to cover absences due to illness or injury.
  8. Annual Wage Supplement (AWS): Often known as the 13th-month bonus, the AWS is an additional payment given to employees, typically around the year-end.
  9. Variable Bonus: Some companies offer variable bonuses based on performance and company profits, in addition to the AWS.
  10. Insurance Coverage: Certain employers provide additional insurance benefits like life insurance or personal accident insurance.
  11. Flexible Work Arrangements: Some companies offer flexible work options, such as remote work or flexible hours.
  12. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): EAPs offer counseling or support services to employees dealing with personal or work-related issues.

Keep in mind that the specific benefits and entitlements may vary from one company to another and can be subject to changes in government regulations. For the most up-to-date information on employee benefits, it's best to inquire with the respective employer.

💡 Tip:  For more information, read our guide on Employee Benefits in Singapore.

Who is Entitled to Off In Lieu in Singapore?

As long as you're an employee working in Singapore with a valid employment contract, you will be entitled to off in lieu. It is a form of compensation where employees receive additional time off in lieu of the extra hours worked. The entitlement to off-in-lieu is subject to certain conditions and may vary based on the individual's employment contract.

What About Being Asked to Work on My Rest Day?

Under the Employment Act Part IV, a specific provision applies to employees earning up to SGD2,600 per month and workmen earning up to SGD4,500 per month, entitling them to rest days.

Rest days are days when employees are not required to work and do not receive any pay. For example, if an employee works on shifts, a rest day could be a period of 30 consecutive non-working hours.

In general, your employer cannot make you work on your designated rest day unless there are compelling reasons, like an accident or necessary work for Singapore's defense. If you end up working on your rest day, you should be compensated with an off in lieu day off.

If a public holiday falls on your rest day, you have the right to take a paid day off on the following working day or on a later date, as arranged with your employer. If you are required to work on a public holiday that falls on your rest day, the compensation will depend on the length of time you worked and who initiated the request.

💡 Tip:  For more details regarding Singapore's Employment Act, you can check out our Singapore Employment Act Guide.

Final Thoughts

It is essential to know what you're entitled to. It is also equally important for business owners to know what their employees are entitled to. Off in lieu, in short, is a type of leave that compensates you for putting in extra hours during your rest days. Understanding and discussing your entitlements with your employer is crucial to ensuring fair compensation for your work. Both employees and employers need to be aware of the relevant labor laws and company policies to maintain a harmonious and compliant working environment.

A woman holding an ACRA Incorporation form for Singaporean companies.


What is off in lieu?

Off in lieu, or "compensatory time off," is a type of leave that is given to employees in lieu of overtime pay. It allows employees to take time off from work in exchange for the extra hours they have worked beyond their normal working hours.

Who is entitled to off in lieu?


Is off in lieu mandatory for employers to provide?


Can off in lieu be converted into cash?


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