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15/11/2010 18:05:11
Re: Annual leave for new staff


I would like to ask about annual leave for new staff. The company's practice is as follow :

- All new staff should undergo 3 mths probation before confirmed. During the 3 mths, leave taken will be considered as UNPAID.

- Once the staff is confirmed, he can apply leave on mth 4 to mth 12 and he is entitle 8 days leave (ie: according to labour law's minimum requirement), assuming he join on January.

- If the staff join during odd mths, ie: not January, the company will pro-rate his leave entitlement for the year so that next year every staff has the same leave entitlement.

- No annual leave can be carried forward to next year and the company do not encourage encashment of leave, unless the staff is too busy to take leave.

My current matter is :

We have employed a staff on 11 Oct 2010, his probation period should be 11 Oct 2010 - 10 Jan 2011.

(1) If according to labour law, he entitled 2days leave (actual is 1.7days) for yr 2010, am I right?

(2) Since he is still under probation, leave taken should be UNPAID. But his 2 days leave cannot be carried forward to 2011.
(i) Can we treat his leave as "Advance leave" for the 2 days?
(ii) Or should we treat it as unpaid leave, and encash him the 2 days leave once he is confirmed on 10 Jan 2011? (to treat this as a special case, no exception for other staff)

(3) The issue now is, the Company is not satisfy with his performance and might consider to extend another 3 mths probation, ie: 11 Jan 2011 to 10 Apr 2011. Does it mean that, leave taken during Jan'11 - Apr'11 will be considered as unpaid? Once confirmed he can apply 8 days leave?

(4) What if his performance is still not satisfying after Apr'11, and the Company decide to terminate his employment, should the company encash him his leave entitlement for the period 11 Jan'11 - 10 Apr'11?

Thank you.
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KL Siew
16/11/2010 08:46:07
You better acquaint yourself with Part 12 of the Employment Act and follow it strictly. There is no such thing as "probation" or "confirmation" in the EA. Entitlement starts from the day of joining the company. If you choose to it your way, there will be plenty of uncertainties.
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16/11/2010 11:28:11
(1) I called the labour office yesterday and the officer states that probation and confirmation is based on discretion of each Company. Regarding the issue i asked yesterday, the labour office' response is " to deduct the 2 days as unpaid leave as he is still under probation, not confirmed".

Who should i follow now? Based on your reply, how do I know whether the respond from the labour office staff / officer is correct?

(2) I've been working for several companies before and all companies required probation of 3 to 6 mths. Staff are also not allow to take leave during probation period. Does it mean that this are all incorrect?

I'm sorry but this is a bit confusing, hope that you can help this.

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KL Siew
16/11/2010 12:50:39
(1) Of course the Labour Office is correct. An employee is only entitled to annual leave only when he has completed 12 months service. They answered according to the law.

(2) They are correct in the sense that when you are under 3-6 months probation, you have not completed 12 months service to qualify for leave. As such any leave taken will be no pay leave. However, this may not be true in every case. Some companies do allow staff to take prorated leave with pay based on the number of completed months of service while some are willing to give advance leave. Whatever ways you want to adopt, always have a clear leave policy, put it in writing, for everyone to follow. This will make things less confusing and there will be less disputes.
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