There is no good time to take sick leave; you take sick leave when you are sick.  Especially when you are having something that may be as contagious as the common cold, it will be best for you to call in sick and go consult a doctor as soon as possible.  This is because the act of bringing the virus to the office may be catastrophic!  Have you heard about the sick office syndrome?

So, what is your entitlement as an employee covered under the Employment Act in Singapore?

According to the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, you are entitled to both paid sick leave and paid hospitalisation leave if you have worked for at least 3 months with your employer.  Please make sure your medical leave of absence is certified by a company doctor, a company-approved doctor or government doctor.

The number of days of paid leave you are entitled to depend on your period of service completed, up to 14 days for paid sick leave and 60 days for paid hospitalisation leave.  The 60 days of hospitalisation leave includes the 14 days sick leave entitlement.  And if you have worked for 6 months or more, you will get the full entitlement.

What if you are between 3 and 6 months of service?  Your entitlement is pro-rated as follows:

Service completed

Paid outpatient non-hospitalisation leave (days)

Paid hospitalisation leave (days)










6 and thereafter




If you are unable to report for work, the Employment Act requires you to inform your employer within 48 hours.  You should submit your medical certificate (MC) when you return to work.

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