Make elder care or family care leave compulsory by law: Halimah Yacob
- POSTED: 05 Oct 2013 19:16
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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.
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 Madam Halimah at the Singapore Children's Society Lecture on Saturday.
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."
Madam 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."
Madam Halimah added that shared parenting should also be promoted more aggressively.