Vesak Day falls on a Saturday (21 May) this year and if you haven’t heard, you are actually entitled to claim a day off or compensation in lieu for the public holiday even if you don’t work on Saturdays (a.k.a. 5-day week).
According to a 2012 press reply to a Holidays Act question from the public on Ministry of Manpower’s website, it is compulsory by law for employers to grant their employees a day off:
That is, granted you are covered under the Employment Act, which really means all employees regardless if it’s a permanent, part-time, temp or contract position (unless you are hired illegally). The Employment Act, however, does not cover the following:
- Manager or executive with monthly basic salary of more than 4.5k
- Domestic Worker
- Stat board employee or civil servant
For employees that work on Saturdays, they will enjoy the public holiday as per normal. So in case your boss says otherwise, you now have the labour law behind you. ;)
Updated Friday, 13th May 2016: Article has been updated to reflect MOM’s press reply is from 2012 and the Employment Act exclusions.Learn more from MOM