Parliamentary reply by Minister Indranee Rajah on effect of increasing CCL on employability
FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
MONDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2022
Mr Louis Ng:
To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether studies are undertaken on the effects of increasing childcare leave on a person’s employability; (b) if so, when will the results of the studies be available; and (c) if not, why not.
Ms Indranee Rajah (for the Prime Minister):
As mentioned in my reply to a similar Parliamentary Question from the Member last year, many factors affect the employability of working parents. We currently have no plans to conduct such studies as it would be challenging to isolate the impact of childcare leave alone on employability.
When considering proposals for increasing childcare leave, we work with tripartite partners to seek feedback from employers, who often cite concerns over the impact of leave provisions on business costs and operations. Empirically, the utilisation rates of existing leave provisions indicate that there remains social or workplace norms that prevent more working parents from benefiting from these leave provisions. We expect that these same employer concerns and workplace norms may impact worker employability, and it is more important to address these barriers directly.
We have taken a more balanced approach where childcare leave provisions are complemented by encouraging employers to adopt progressive workplace practices, such as Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs), which can support the diverse caregiving needs of employees including parents with young children. Such workplace practices can also strengthen businesses’ employee value proposition and operational resilience. We will continue to work with stakeholders to promote family-friendly workplace practices, and over time build a more sustainable work environment, where employees can better manage their work and family commitments.