Unwed mothers to get 16-week maternity leave, children given Child Development Account

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The maternity leave benefits will kick in from early next year

On April 12, 2016, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin announced that unwed mothers are entitled to a 16-week maternity leave, similar to what other mums get.

Additionally, their kids will be given a special savings account; the Child Development Account, which will help in paying for childcare and healthcare needs.

Currently, they are only given an 8-week maternity leave and their kids are not entitled to qualify for Child Development Accounts.

Mr Tan mentioned that the maternity leave benefits will take effect as of 2017 as the parliament “will need to amend legislation to make this happen”.

The Child Development Account scheme however, will be taking effect this year, from the third quarter.

He also added: “I, too, am sympathetic to this group. Unwed parents may be vulnerable if they are younger and lower-educated. Some may have been rejected by their own families. It can be difficult to raise a child single-handedly, without family support. Some may have hoped to have a child within marriage, but ended up as unwed parents by circumstances.”

Unwed mothers currently do not get the Baby Bonus cash gift and parenthood tax rebates, and have to wait until they are 35 years old to buy a HDB, under the singles scheme.

What are your thoughts on this new legislation? Comment them down below.

Source: The Straits Times
(Image credit: The Straits Times)

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