In accordance with Section 35 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, Polling Day, taking place on Friday 10 July 2020, shall be a public holiday in Singapore.

Despite some concerns about holding a general election during a pandemic, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has decided to hold the election now during a time the Covid-19 situation is relatively stable, in order to “clear the decks” and allow the new government a fresh, full five-year mandate.

Following the election, the new government can focus on the national agenda, including handling the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy and jobs. The Prime Minister also noted that the alternative to wait out the pandemic before holding the general election would not be the best idea as there is no assurance that the outbreak will be over before the government’s term ends next April, with Covid-19 expected to linger for at least another year.

What Do Employers Need to Know?

Polling Day should be treated in the same respect as any other public holiday in Singapore. Employees covered by the Employment Act are entitled to paid public holidays. Should an employee be required to work on a public holiday, that employee is entitled to an extra day’s salary for the day’s work or be given a day off at another time.

Additionally, employers have the option of granting time-off-in-lieu, based on a mutually agreed number of hours, for working on a public holiday for the group of employees below:

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

Keep up to date with tax and payroll developments in Singapore with our Global Insight Guide, which also includes information and insight on the city’s economic background, major ,and business practices.

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