Singapore

Make elder care or family care leave compulsory by law: Halimah Yacob

Make elder care or family care leave compulsory by law: Halimah Yacob
Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob. TODAY file photo
She also urges bosses to be more understanding towards an employee’s family obligations
Published: 7:44 PM, October 5, 2013
Updated: 4:00 AM, October 7, 2013

SINGAPORE – Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob has made a call for legislation on elder care or family care leave to help ease the strain on work-life balance.

Introducing law on paid child care leave, paternity leave and longer maternity leave was a clear signal that the Government meant business in tackling work-life balance, said Mdm Halimah at the Singapore Children’s Society Lecturetodat (Oct 5).

She said clear legislation was needed to shape and influence behaviour at the workplace to support families. Likewise, elder care or family care leave could be next to be legislated.

She said: “We have legislation on paid maternity benefit, now, paid parental leave as well, and paid childcare leave. Those are very strong signals.

“When it comes to the responsibility to take care of elderly parents, if you have elderly care leave or family care leave, that will also set the foundation, so companies know, ‘Look, this is something we need to take into consideration, when we schedule work or create work or design work for people.’ Because these are the realities they face every day, the struggles that they have to live with.”

Mdm Halimah said it would also help if bosses are more understanding towards an employee’s family obligations in offering flexible work arrangements.

She said options like tele-commuting, compressed work weeks and job-sharing have not been popular here.

Recounting her time with the labour movement, she praised the public sector’s role in taking the lead on the matter.

She said: “One of the things I valued the most was of course, flexibility. You are not assessed based on your time, what time you clock in, what time you clock out, but rather on your outcomes, your output.”

Mdm Halimah added that shared parenting should also be promoted more aggressively. CHANNEL NEWSASIA