I am currently working as an intern in a company in Singapore. My work period is 8 months and I do not have any leave that I can claim/take. If I want to take leave, I have to take an MC (medical certificate) as I am a student.

And also I do not have such thing as 'time-off for a while from work'. My lunch break is 1 hour however my supervisor did not specify any timing for lunch break. But usually my full time and intern colleagues go to lunch during 11.30am-1.30pm that timing.

I have a personal thing to attend to at 3pm which cannot be postponed, therefore I have to go out of office at around 2.45pm-3.45pm. Is it ok to not go for lunch at the usual time and instead reserve that 1 hour and attend my personal thing and go for lunch at the same time at 2.45pm instead? Isn't that basic rights as I just use my lunch break, at a different time to attend to some personal things. I did not take extra hours away from office. Is that acceptable? I would like to know how is it in other countries too.

Please do give me some suggestions. Thank you so much.

  • 4
    Why not talk to your supervisor and get an agreement? Surely that is better that us trying to second guess the mindset of your supervisor
    – Ed Heal
    Nov 29 '17 at 6:53
  • I feel awkward to do so. Once i asked him for time off and he told me to take half day off. I have been taking MCs as my medical condition is not good and because of some problems too. I do not want to take more time off(s) and MCs. So i am trying to compensate with my lunch break.
    – Susmitha
    Nov 29 '17 at 6:58
  • 2
    You have to ask. Even if awkward. Using MC when you are not ill is not a good idea.
    – Ed Heal
    Nov 29 '17 at 6:59
  • Full timers can just ask for time off(s) and leaves whenever they can however as an intern, i can't. I will also be accessed and at the end of my internship, my supervisor has to write a testimonial. I am afraid taking leaves and MCs would reflect bad. That is what i am afraid of.
    – Susmitha
    Nov 29 '17 at 7:00
  • 1
    People understand that other people need to take time off for personal reasons. If it is agreed with beforehand this will not reflect badly at all. If you ask to shift your lunch break to a certain time during the day and it is agreed - this will not be a problem
    – Ed Heal
    Nov 29 '17 at 7:02

I would simply talk with the supervisor and ask if it is ok to skip lunch break and then leave 1 hour earlier.

If that is not possible, you may consider starting earlier so that you clock your 8 hours (plus lunch break) in time before the external appointment.

  • Good answer. I do that at my current job now, and no one cares.
    – Neo
    Nov 29 '17 at 15:11
  • And if the supervisor cares, it is better to find out beforehand than when he fires you for leaving without permission.
    – HLGEM
    Nov 29 '17 at 16:11
  • In my case i dont think leaving early would be allowed however all i wanted was to instead of going for lunch at 12pm, go at 2.45pm. It should not be a problem if i dont take too long. Afterall, every human being needs rest. I worked during lunch and took my rest at a later timing. It should not be a problem.
    – Susmitha
    Nov 30 '17 at 0:46

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