Parliamentary reply Minister Indranee on Childcare Leave for those with three or more children
FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
MONDAY, 8 MAY 2023
Mr Christopher de Souza:
To ask the Prime Minister whether the number of days for childcare leave can be granted in proportion to the number of children such that parents with three or more children are given additional days.
Ms Indranee Rajah (for the Prime Minister):
Much has been done over the years to enhance parental leave to better support the caregiving needs of parents with young children. From 1 January 2024, we will double the Government-Paid Paternity Leave from two to four weeks for eligible working fathers. We will also double Unpaid Infant Care Leave for each parent in the child’s first two years, from the current six days per year to 12 days per year. These will give parents more time to bond with and care for their newborn, or to settle caregiving arrangements.
Any enhancements to childcare leave, including according more leave to parents with more children, will need to balance the caregiving needs of parents with the manpower and operational needs of employers. Beyond legislated leave provisions, it is more important and sustainable for employers to provide a family-friendly work environment, to help parents manage both their work and caregiving responsibilities.
The Tripartite Standards on Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) and on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs, were introduced in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Companies that adopt these standards are recognised as progressive employers that provide additional support for employees’ personal or caregiving responsibilities. The Tripartite Partners have also been looking into ways to better support employers in implementing FWAs. This includes providing resources, such as implementation guides and training, to better equip employers to implement FWAs effectively and sustainably.
To encourage wider adoption of FWAs, the Tripartite Partners are developing a set of Tripartite Guidelines by 2024 that will require employers to put in place proper processes to fairly consider and respond to employees’ FWA requests. The government will continue to work closely with the other Tripartite Partners to promote family-friendly workplace practices, so as to better support working parents in their caregiving needs.