The government has just announced revisions in infant care leave for Singapore parents. Are these going to help you?
The Singapore Government announced a 3 year pilot scheme yesterday, guaranteed to benefit lots of parents. According to Channel NewsAsia, more infant care leave will be offered to parents working in the public sector, from July onwards.
What you need to know about infant care leave for Singapore parents:
- Increase in infant care leave: Those working in the public sector, and their spouses will get an additional four weeks of unpaid infant care leave per parent.
- Total parental leave: Public servants and their spouses now get a total of six months of parental leave per couple, that is 26 weeks, up from the earlier 22 weeks. Only one parent needs to be in public service to enjoy these benefits.
- Already existing provisions are:
- For Singapore Mums: 16 weeks paid maternity leave + 1 week paid childcare leave +1 week unpaid infant care leave.
- For Singapore Dads: 2 weeks paid paternity leave + 1 week paid childcare leave + 1 week unpaid infant care leave.
Confused? Maybe these flip cards will help. Check them out below:
Does revised infant care leave help?
According to The Straits Times, Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo expects the revised infant care to be:
- A boon for parents: Though infant care centres can take in babies as young as 2 months old, most parents are comfortable with placing them in infant care only when they are 6 months old. Extended childcare leave is thus a blessing for such parents.
Also, many parents have expressed disappointment at not getting a place at infant care centres. The Government has announced in the Singapore Budget 2017, that it is going to double places in infant care centres by 2020. But until then, the extra 4 weeks of leave will be beneficial for parents.
- Beneficial for dads: The Straits Time quotes Ms. Josephine Teo as saying, “Parents are happy to have more time to care for and bond with their infants, and fathers can also play a bigger role in raising their newborns, all while remaining in employment.”
- A possible reason for workplace tensions? : Some employers are expected to crib about the absence of employees. Parents have also previously complained of unfair treatment by co-workers.
However, we feel that it’s a great move and needs to be followed by all companies. Ms. Josephine Teo has been quoted as saying, “The leave provision is gender neutral; both male and female public officers are eligible to apply. As long as they have been given reasonable notice, supervisors will have to accede to all applications for such parental leave and make the necessary work adjustments.”
“Needless to say, while we are piloting this measure in public sector only, we hope some private sector companies will also join in to lead the way.”
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