Public holidays of 2016 announced: Six long weekends next year

Traditional calendars for the year 2015. The Government has announced the public holidays in 2016 which includes 6 long weekends. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER 
Traditional calendars for the year 2015. The Government has announced the public holidays in 2016 which includes 6 long weekends. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER 

SINGAPORE - Workers planning a getaway can look forward to six long weekends next year.

The Ministry of Manpower has released dates of public holidays for next year, with six of the 11 falling on a Friday, Sunday or Monday.

This is just one less than the bumper crop of seven long weekends this year, but up from an average of five in recent years.

When public holidays fall on a Sunday, it means the next day is a day off. This year, eight public holidays fall on Friday, Sunday or Monday - with Aug 7 declared a public holiday as part of Singapore's 50th birthday celebration, forming a four-day weekend.

Last year and the year before, there were four long weekends. There were five in 2012 and 2011, and seven in 2010.

There will also be a four-day weekend next year as the first and second days of Chinese New Year fall on Monday and Tuesday next year, similar to this year's, which fell on Thursday and Friday.

Long weekends give travellers the potential to go further afield using fewer days of leave.

Graphic designer Jason Fu, 26, said: "I will definitely make use of this to travel more. As I have only 15 days of annual leave, having long weekends matters to me."

Two of the public holidays next year fall on a Saturday - Vesak Day on May 21 and Deepavali on Oct 29.

Employees not required to work on Saturdays can claim a day off or compensation for that public holiday, if covered under the Employment Act.

Deepavali is also subject to change when the Hindu almanac becomes available. For this year, the Hindu Advisory Board has confirmed that Deepavali will fall on Nov 10 - a Tuesday - which was stated previously.

Companies here have various policies if the public holiday falls on a Saturday.

For example, at OCBC Bank, employees will be given a day off but they have to clear it within a month.

A Pan Pacific Hotels Group spokesman said that its staff will also get a day off, but they have three months to use it.

Public officers who work from Monday to Friday can also claim a day off for a public holiday falling on a Saturday, said the Public Service Division.

-- GRAPHIC: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER