Parliamentary Reply by Minister Indranee Rajah on Length of Extended Childcare Leave
FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
MONDAY, 10 JANUARY 2022
Mr Louis Ng:
To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether there are any updates on the rationale for reducing the amount of childcare leave from six days to two days when a child turns seven years old; and (b) whether the Government is reviewing this especially for working parents who are essential or frontline workers and are unable to work from home.
Ms Indranee Rajah (for the Prime Minister):
We recognise that parents need continued support to care for their children even after they turn seven years old. This is why we had extended childcare leave provisions in 2013 to provide two days of childcare leave per parent per year, for parents with children aged seven to 12 years. Those with children aged below seven years continue to have six days of childcare leave per year, as children of a younger age require relatively more care from parents. These childcare leave provisions are in addition to their annual leave entitlements.
We take a practical approach in supporting working parents’ caregiving needs, balancing these with the manpower and operational needs of employers, to avoid affecting parents’ employability. As mentioned in my earlier replies to Mr Louis Ng’s parliamentary questions on childcare leave, a more sustainable approach would be for employers to adopt progressive workplace practices, such as Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs), to better support parents. Other than working from home, FWAs also include flexi-time and flexi-load, which could help parents with their caregiving responsibilities. For example, although frontline workers often have to be physically present in their workplaces, employers can stagger the start and end times of their shifts, or enable shifts to be shared by multiple workers. We will continue to work with stakeholders to promote family-friendly workplace practices, so that employees can better manage their work and family commitments.