To All MECA Members,
RE: Public Holiday – 2nd November 2013
In view of the confusion that arose, the Prime Minister’s Department has announced vide Notification of Gazette No. 36947 dated 23 October 2012 that 2nd November 2013 will be a Public Holiday in conjunction with the Deepavali celebration.
As 2nd November 2012 falls on a Saturday, it is crucial to determine whether it comes within the definition of a “rest day” or an “off-day”. S.59(1) of the Employment Act 1955 provides that where an employee is allowed more than one rest day in a week, the last of such rest days shall be the official rest day. This means that in a company which observes a five-day week situation, wherein Saturday and Sunday are non-working days, Sunday should be treated as the official rest day while Saturday would be an off-day. Therefore, since the public holiday falls on an off-day, there is no statutory requirement to replace that holiday.
The position differs in a company which has fixed Friday and Saturday as non-working days. In such a situation, then Saturday would be the official rest day while Friday would be the off-day. Therefore, since the public holiday falls on a rest day, the next working day i.e. Sunday, should be granted as a substituted holiday, pursuant to the proviso in S.60D(1) of the Employment Act 1955.
We would also like to remind you that by virtue of S.60D(2) of the Employment Act 1955, if the employee is absent without leave or reasonable excuse on the working day immediately preceding a public holiday (meaning on 1st November 2013, Friday), he forfeits entitlement to the holiday pay. This means that he will not be paid for the day he is absent and for the public holiday.
Should you require further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you.
Natalie Chong
Legal Adviser