Plan ahead to enjoy nine long weekends in 2018

With planning, workers can get up to nine long weekends next year. Engineer Jason Chao plans to take short breaks abroad, while pharmacist Milton Beins plans to spend the time with family and reading.
With planning, workers can get up to nine long weekends next year. Engineer Jason Chao plans to take short breaks abroad, while pharmacist Milton Beins plans to spend the time with family and reading.ST FILE PHOTO

Five holidays fall on a Tuesday or Thursday, so take a day off to have a four-day break

With some planning, those working in Singapore could have a bumper crop of nine long weekends next year.
 

Only four out of the 11 public holidays will fall on a Friday or Monday, which would give workers a three-day weekend.

But another five holidays fall on a Tuesday or a Thursday, so workers would then only need to take a day off to have a four-day weekend. The dates were released by the Ministry of Manpower yesterday.

The three-day weekends will come over the following holidays - New Year's Day, Chinese New Year, Good Friday and Hari Raya Puasa.

Next year, Labour Day, Vesak Day, Deepavali, and Christmas Day all fall on Tuesdays, meaning workers who take leave on the Monday before these public holidays will enjoy a four-day long weekend.

National Day falls on a Thursday, so employees who take leave on Aug 10, 2018 - the day after the public holiday - will also enjoy a four-day break.

The other two public holidays are the second day of the Chinese New Year (Feb 17), which is on a Saturday, and Hari Raya Haji (Aug 22), which falls on a Wednesday.

Last year there were six long weekends, plus another one if you took an extra day off. This year, there are seven long weekends.

Mr David Ang, director of corporate services at human resource firm Human Capital Singapore, said that regardless of how many there are, long weekends are popular.

"With a very active work and personal life situation, and without much of a hinterland for recreation, Singaporeans welcome long weekends for their holidays," he said.

Mr Jason Chao, a 27-year-old engineer, is already looking forward to the short breaks.

"I will definitely use the long weekends for short trips to Batam to relax and unwind. I might even travel further to places such as Taiwan," he said.

Pharmacist Milton Beins, 66, is planning to enjoy his time off in Singapore, catching up with his family and books.

"Family is very important, so I plan to spend time with them during those weekends. I will also catch up on books I want to read as I don't usually have time for them," he said.

Under the Employment Act, if a public holiday falls on a Saturday, an employee who is not required to work on a Saturday is also entitled to another day off or an extra day's salary in lieu of that public holiday.

Also, an employee who is required to work on a public holiday is entitled to an extra day's salary at the basic rate of pay.

Alternatively, the employer and employee may mutually agree to substitute a public holiday for another working day.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2017, with the headline 'Plan ahead to enjoy nine long weekends in 2018'. Print Edition | Subscribe