Scheme to encourage flexible work arrangements enhanced

Scheme to encourage flexible work arrangements enhanced

Women lunch office Raffles Place Singapore
Two women have their lunch in a park at Raffles Place business district in Singapore on April 28, 2016. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)  

SINGAPORE: In a bid to help women juggle career and childcare responsibilities, the Government is enhancing a scheme that helps employers to adopt flexible work arrangements.

The Work-Life Grant, which was started in 2013 and is due to expire at the end of this month, will be extended and enhanced from Jul 1, Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo announced on Sunday (Mar 4).

First, the criteria for employers to apply for the grant have been simplified. Employers no longer require at least 20 per cent of all employees to be on flexible work arrangements to qualify for the grant. 

"This was in response to feedback from companies on the difficulties they face in meeting this criteria," Mrs Teo said at an event to celebrate International Women's Day at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront.

"Under the enhanced Work-Life Grant, the employer will receive some funding so long as one or more employees adopt flexible work arrangements," she said. 

Second, employers will receive S$2,000 per year over two years for each employee on flexible work arrangement, up to 35 employees. It is higher than what the current scheme offers, which is S$2,000 per employee per year for the first five employees, and S$1,500 for the subsequent 20. 

Third, employers that provide job sharing for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) can receive S$3,500 per employee, up from a maximum of $2,000 per employee under the current scheme.

Mrs Teo said that the higher grant per employee will provide more upfront support to help employers take the first step to encourage their employees to adopt flexible work arrangements. 

She added that the Government has set aside a budget of S$30 million over two years for this scheme.

Source: CNA/ra