May 5, 2016
In mid-April Singapore announced major changes to its paternity measures with more time off for new fathers to take care of their newborns. Under the new law, fathers of babies born from January 1, 2017 will now enjoy two weeks of paid paternity leave. Currently in Singapore new fathers get one week paid paternity leave with companies offering a second week on a voluntary basis.
The Singapore government will pay for new mandatory additional paternity leave that will cap out at $2,500 per week including Central Provident Fund contributions. The Prime Minister’s Office said, “Nothing quite compares to the joy of holding your own child. Fathers feel these emotions as strongly as mothers do.”
There’s a new change for working mothers in Singapore as well. They will now be able to share up to 4 weeks of their paid maternity leave with their husbands from July 2017. They currently can share only one week out of their 16 weeks of maternity leave with their husbands. Fathers must be married to the child's mother to qualify for the paternity leave and shared parental leave. In addition, the child must be a Singapore citizen.
Including one week each of childcare and unpaid infant care leave Singapore fathers are already eligible for, they will now be able to get up to eight weeks off work within their baby's first year. The new maternity and paternity measures are one way the Singapore government is looking to encourage young couples to have babies. It is also part of a wider push to help Singaporeans better balance work and family life explains Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State.
For companies that are concerned about staffing under the new laws, this is why announcements have been made well in advance. With at least eight months before they will be enacted - this give employers plenty of time to address their staffing schedules.
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Founder & CEO, Tiger-Consulting