Workers entitled to claim a Day Off for Vesak Day Public Holiday by law

You are covered under the Employment Act


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:

[[perfect[perfectpullquote]] align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”For employees who are not required to work on Saturdays, they are entitled to claim a day off or compensation in lieu for that public holiday if they are covered under the Employment Act. It is therefore not up to the employer’s discretion or goodwill to grant their employees a day off in lieu under the law.”[/[perfect[perfectpullquote]]]

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
  • Seafarer
  • Domestic Worker
  • Stat board employee or civil servant
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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.

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Oh yeah, time to celebrate!

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