Parliamentary reply by Minister Josephine Teo on the utilisation of Paternity Leave in the public and private sectors
THIRTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
MONDAY, 6 APRIL 2020
Mr Louis Ng:
To ask the Prime Minister (a) what are the factors that have led to a higher percentage of eligible fathers in the public sector taking their paternity leave as compared to the private sector; and (b) how will the Ministry help the private sector achieve a higher uptake of paternity leave.
Mrs Josephine Teo (for the Prime Minister):
A study commissioned by the National Population and Talent Division in 2019 found that most fathers in Singapore want to use their paternity leave and play a bigger role in child-raising. However, across different types of jobs and companies, a key factor affecting fathers’ utilisation of paternity leave is workplace support from supervisors and colleagues.
The healthy social norm in the Public Service where the majority of fathers (84%) already take paternity leave is self-reinforcing: it helps fathers feel assured about taking paternity leave, and contributes to the high take-up rates in the public sector1. One of the key reasons for this social norm is that fathers from the public sector generally have supervisors and colleagues who are supportive of them taking paternity leave.
A whole-of-society effort is needed to support fathers to be more active in parenting, and to take time-off from work to spend time with their children. We will continue to work with tripartite partners, employers and community partners, to strengthen attitudes and norms in support of fathers taking paternity leave to care for their children.
1 The take-up rate in the public sector was 84%, higher than the overall take-up rate of 53% for recent cohorts.