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Average number of vacation days for a professional

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erbiumfiber
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Average number of vacation days for a professional

Postby erbiumfiber » Sat, 08 Mar 2008 9:37 pm

Hi and thanks in advance for any help you can give. I'm a patent attorney working in Tokyo (last 5 years) and am looking to relocate to Singapore. I am wondering about the quality of working life in Singapore. Is is like the U.S. (my home country) with very little time off work or is it more like Europe with several weeks of vacation per year?

Also, what are the work weeks like? I understand this varies from company to company and from industry to industry, but I'm just trying to get a feel for things. Tokyo is pretty workaholic but I have a decent 9-to-6 job (although I make less than I would working in the states- however, the quality-of-worklife tradeoff has been worth it). I'm an efficient worker and can generally get all my work completed in normal hours.

Any other thought about moving from Tokyo to Singapore would be appreciated.

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Postby trinity511 » Mon, 10 Mar 2008 4:37 pm

Not sure what things would be like in your field, but from what Ive learned recently local contracts give 14 days annual leave and 11 public holidays per year. Of course different companies different rules. I have just signed up with the American Association of Singapore here and they have a Careers Resource Center for Expats. Just google and check it out. Its funny that your in Tokyo as my wife and I will be there tomorrow night for a few days before heading to Niseko for ski/snowboarding. With regards to the annual leave my wife gets 6 weeks leave so like I said different companies

erbiumfiber
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Postby erbiumfiber » Mon, 10 Mar 2008 9:44 pm

Thanks for that. It's rather awkward to be asking about vacation time during an interview (you sound like a slacker) but I have elderly parents in the U.S. and need to visit. I've already found out that the required billing is much lower than in the U.S. so I think I could have a very nice quality of life. Sure, I could make a lot more in the U.S. but I'd drop dead of a heart attack or have a nervous breakdown by age 50. Not worth it.

And, from the Internet and TV, Singapore is just so much more beautiful than Tokyo. It would be refreshing. I'm not much into nightlife so I'm not missing out by moving from Tokyo.

Have a lovely time skiing!! I've only been to Niigata and Nagano, never made it up to Hokkaido.

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Postby perplexsheep » Wed, 12 Mar 2008 9:22 am

For banking sector, most bank offer 21 days minimum for executive and above position. In addition, it is mandated to take a block leave of 10 days on an annual basis.

For law firms, it varies from law firm to law firm. I know one australian law firm that give 21 days to their foreign practicing lawyers, and there are times when they work crazy hours, but generally, they have a reasonably good quality of life. From what I know/heard, the local law firms (Top 4) seems to work very long hours, as well as the top american law firms.

Maybe if you are a bit more specific in which industry or type of company you are planning to try, are you planning to work for a law firm, or for a MNC,, etc, someone here can give you a clearer insight on what is the standard number of leave for that industry/area.

I agree that it seems bad to ask about leave during an interview. They are generally communicated to you when you are signing the letter of offer. For most MNCs, the number of leave is not really negotiable, from what I am aware of.

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Asian_Geekette
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Postby Asian_Geekette » Wed, 12 Mar 2008 3:27 pm

erbiumfiber,

Legally, an employee is entitled to 7 days of annual leave. Most MNCs here would give you about twice of that.

Here's a suggestion. At the start of the year, check the MoM (Ministry of Manpower) website for the list of public holidays. Then plan your annual leave around those public holidays. So you get longer vacation time to be with your parents. :) However, you need to book your tickets earlier because a lot of Singaporeans tend to travel around the public holidays.

Oh, you're in for some culture shock once you move from Tokyo to Singapore. In Tokyo, the shopkeepers are quite polite to their customers. I remember the nice way of how they wrap your purchases there. In Singapore, you'd ask whether customer service is really a concept understood here. :cry:

But don't worry... as long as your new company doesn't expect you to work weekends or to be on call 24 by 7, you'd have some work-life balance here. The good thing about SG is that you can easily go to neighboring countries for a quick weekend get-away.

Good luck with your move!
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

Damienslife
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25 days

Postby Damienslife » Wed, 12 Mar 2008 9:27 pm

In my bank I have 25 days, this goes for all junior staff. Management get 28 days.

When i interviewed for another job in another bank I tentavily asked what the standard leave entitlement was. They happily communicated that it was 18 days.

I guess I must have touched a nerve because when I pointed out (nicely) that most banks have 21 days the response was quite icy. I was told that 18 days was already very generous. Needless to say i didnt get the job but with an extra 10 days holiday a year Im quite happy where I am :)

erbiumfiber
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Postby erbiumfiber » Sun, 16 Mar 2008 3:58 pm

So I'm here in Singapore and everything is really nice- I guess the weather has been cool lately because it feels fine to me. I'm used to rain and high humidity so that's not a problem.

My interview was with a patent law firm and they indicated that people generally work 10-to-6 with no weekends. No idea about time off, supposedly that will be in the offer letter (if they make me an offer). I'll be talking to another law firm as well.

People seem to be pretty nice- it's not the ultra-politeness of Tokyo, but being able to communicate in English makes up for all that. And people were helpful on the MRT when it looked like I didn't know where I was going- twice employees pointed me in the right direction- something that never happened in Tokyo.

Thanks everyone for your responses- I get 15 days a year now and that's only because I'm a foreigner- I think everyone else gets two weeks.

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Asian_Geekette
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Postby Asian_Geekette » Thu, 20 Mar 2008 11:33 am

It's good you got 15 days of annual leave! :) At least that's 3 weeks of leave.

Good luck with the other interviews!
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

AyatollahB
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US Patent Attorney in Singapore

Postby AyatollahB » Sun, 04 May 2008 8:33 am

Erbium,

I am a US patent attorney with an offer to relocate to Singapore.

They offer 21 days total, which I assume means the equivalent of 10 vacation days + 11 Singapore holidays. My current employer offers 20 vacation days + 9-10 US federal holidays.

Did your company help with relocation expenses? Do they put you up in temporary housing? How about flights back home?

Right now I have received an offer letter, but it's ambiguous on these points. I hope to get that resolved next week, and I would appreciate any feedback.

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Patent agent

Postby blueshark » Tue, 13 May 2008 10:45 am

Hi, can anyone advise on what it takes to be a patent agent? Also what is the starting pay like? Am just considering this as a big career move as it sounds very interesting to me.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts..you can pm me too if the nature of the discussion is too private. :wink:
Last edited by blueshark on Tue, 13 May 2008 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby blueshark » Tue, 13 May 2008 10:51 am

Hi erbiumfiber, sounds like you are an experienced patent agent. Would you be able to advise on what kind of qualifications are required for this particular career?

Thanks again. :)

erbiumfiber wrote:So I'm here in Singapore and everything is really nice- I guess the weather has been cool lately because it feels fine to me. I'm used to rain and high humidity so that's not a problem.

My interview was with a patent law firm and they indicated that people generally work 10-to-6 with no weekends. No idea about time off, supposedly that will be in the offer letter (if they make me an offer). I'll be talking to another law firm as well.

People seem to be pretty nice- it's not the ultra-politeness of Tokyo, but being able to communicate in English makes up for all that. And people were helpful on the MRT when it looked like I didn't know where I was going- twice employees pointed me in the right direction- something that never happened in Tokyo.

Thanks everyone for your responses- I get 15 days a year now and that's only because I'm a foreigner- I think everyone else gets two weeks.

patent agent
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Postby patent agent » Thu, 22 May 2008 10:45 pm

blue shark - qualification needed is a science degree or engineering degree. Occasionally extensive experience in industry is accepted instead.

If you are an expat your chances of getting a job as a trainee patent agent are very low; you would need to qualify and get experience in your own country first.

Beyond that it really depends upon the country. In most countries a law degree is NOT required. However, most countries have a very difficult patent exam to pass. You start working as a trainee for a year or so and then take the exam. The exception is the US where there is a fairly easy patent exam which entitles you to act before the patent office, but for decent career progression you need to get a JD as well.

For more details see

www.ipos.gov.sg
www.cipa.org.uk
www.intelproplaw.com/forum

erbiumfiber - would be interested to hear about the work environment in Tokyo. I have sent you a PM.

patent agent
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Postby patent agent » Thu, 22 May 2008 10:47 pm

erbiumfiber - would be interested to hear about the work environment in Tokyo. I have sent you a PM.

Okay - seems I am not allowed to PM you as I just joined. Just surprised work hours were 9-6, I thought everywhere in Japan was working dawn to dusk. What employers would you recommend in Tokyo and what was salary like?

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Postby Plavt » Thu, 22 May 2008 10:54 pm


patent agent,
Your PM function will work after 5 posts.

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Vacation days

Postby Jpp » Thu, 14 May 2009 10:14 pm

From a friend I heard that there is such a thing as only 7 days of vacation leave in Singapore for a year --if you're working on contract.

Is this so? I checked the MOM website and it 7 days the minimum required days for people who have worked 3 months (and 7 days is the annual leave they are entitled to) for people on the "Work Permit" classification. However, lawyers and other managers/professionals earning more than SGD7k are NOT the "work permit" law, they're under P1 or PEP?

What governs the vacation days P1 and PEP are entitled to?


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