An employee is entitled to sick leave if the employee has worked for the company for at least 3 months.

What You Will Learn

  • What is sick leave?
  • How many sick leave is an employee entitled to?
  • Can an employee take half-day sick leave?
  • What if the medical certificate is from a traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner or overseas doctor?
  • Is medical certificate required for doctor appointment?
  • What if an employee falls sick on a holiday or while on annual leave?
  • What if an employee falls sick during notice period?
  • Can the employee reimburse medical fees?

Sick Leave

Sick leave, also commonly known as medical leave, refers to an employee’s absence from work due to the employee’s health conditions. There are 2 types of sick leave; outpatient non-hospitalisation and hospitalisation sick leave.

Sick Leave Entitlement

An employee is eligible to this statutory benefit if the employee has worked for the company for at least 3 months; the employee have informed or tried to inform your employer within 48 hours of the absence; and it is certified by the company’s doctor, company-approved doctor or a government doctor.

No. of months of service completed Paid outpatient non-hospitalisation leave (days) Paid hospitalisation leave (days)
3 5 5 + 10 = 15
4 8 8 + 22 = 30
5 11 11 + 34 = 45
6 and thereafter 14 14 + 46 = 60


It is important to note that the paid hospitalisation leave is inclusive of the paid outpatient non-hospitalisation leave. This means that if the employee used up all 14 days of paid outpatient non-hospitalisation leave, the employee will be left with 46 days of paid hospitalisation leave.

Half Day Medical Leave

Medical leave taken on a half working day such as a Saturday shall be considered as one day’s medical leave.

Medical Certificate from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioner and Overseas Doctor

The company has the discretion to accept medical certificate not issued from doctors and dentists from public medical institutions.

However, the employee should still be excused from work based on the medical certificate.

Medical Certificate for Doctor Appointment

It depends on the company policy to provide time-off to an employee who needs to see a doctor for necessary medical appointments.

However, if the employee sees a doctor and is issued with a medical certificate, then the employee is entitled to paid sick leave for that appointment.

Sick Leave on Holiday or Annual Leave

An employee is not required to apply for leave if the employee falls sick on his rest day, public holidays and other non-working days.

If the employee falls sick while on annual leave, it depends on the company policy whether the employee is allowed to cancel the annual leave and take sick leave instead.

Falling Sick during Notice Period

An employee is still entitled to sick leave if he falls sick during the notice period. The company cannot extend the employee’s notice period or claim for any short notice from the employee.

Medical Reimbursement

The company is required to reimburse the employee’s medical consultation fee if the employee has worked for the company for at least 3 months. This is regardless whether it is on a public holiday, rest day or other non-working day. Other costs, such as medication, is not reimbursable unless it is provided for in the employment contract or the company’s collective agreement with the union.

However, the company is not required to reimburse medical consultation fee for cosmetic procedures.

For more information, you can refer to the Singapore Employment Act or the Singapore Ministry of Manpower.