Singapore's updated public holiday dates for 2023: New date for Vesak Day

Singapore's updated public holiday dates for 2023: New date for Vesak Day

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With Vesak Day public holiday falling on 2 June 2023, there will then be a total of seven long weekends next year.

Following the announcement by the Singapore Buddhist Federation on the revised date for Vesak Day in 2023, Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has gazetted 2 June 2023 as the new public holiday for Vesak Day, adding one more long weekend to the annual lineup.

With this announcement, the full updated list of public holidays in 2023 is as follows (new dates highlighted):

 New Year’s Day 1 Jan 2023 Sunday
 Chinese New Year

 22 Jan 2023

 23 Jan 2023



 Good Friday 7 Apr 2023 Friday
 Hari Raya Puasa 22 Apr 2023 Saturday
 Labour Day  1 May 2023 Monday
 Vesak Day 2 Jun 2023 [New Date] Friday
 Hari Raya Haji 29 Jun 2023 Thursday
 National Day 9 Aug 2023 Wednesday
 Deepavali 12 Nov 2023* Sunday
 Christmas Day 25 Dec 2023 Monday

It should be noted that as Chinese New Year falls on Sunday and Monday, the following Tuesday, 24 Jan 2023, will be a public holiday. With this revision, there will then be a total of seven long weekends next year.

On statutory obligations, employers are encouraged to comply with the Employment Act. Here is a recap:

  • Employees are entitled to 11 paid public holidays a year.
  • If employees are required to work on a public holiday, by default, employers should pay employees an extra day’s salary. Alternatively, by mutual agreement, the following should be provided: 
    • A public holiday in lieu.
    • Time off in lieu (only for employees not covered under Part IV of Employment Act).
  • The extra day's salary should be at the basic rate of pay.
    • An employee's monthly gross salary already includes payment for the holiday, so employers only need to pay an additional day’s salary.
  • If employees are absent without reason on the working day before or after the holiday, they are not entitled to the holiday pay. Employers can therefore deduct one day’s pay at the gross rate from the employee's monthly gross salary. 
  • If the holiday falls on a rest day, the next working day will be a paid holiday.
  • If employees are on a 5-day work week, Saturday would be considered a non-working day. 
    • For a public holiday that falls on a Saturday, they should get either a day off or salary in lieu.
  • Employees are entitled to their gross rate of pay on a public holiday, if:
    • They were not absent on the working day immediately before or after a holiday without consent or a reasonable excuse.
    • They are not on authorised leave (e.g. sick leave, annual leave, unpaid leave) on the day immediately before or after a holiday.
  • Employees are not entitled to holiday pay if the holiday falls on their approved unpaid leave.
  • For employees not covered under the Employment Act, additional days off or extra salary in lieu should be given according to the terms of their employment contract.
  • If an employee is not covered under Part IV of Employment Act, employers can grant them time off in lieu for working on a public holiday. The time-off should consist of a mutually agreed number of hours.
  • If there is no mutual agreement on the duration of time off in lieu, the employer can decide on one of the following:
    • Pay an extra day’s salary at the basic rate of pay for one day’s work.
    • For working four hours or less on a holiday, grant time off in lieu of 4 hours on a working day.
    • For working more than four hours on a holiday, grant a full day off on a working day.

Image / Shutterstock

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