Although several countries have already implemented various policies that set a huge precedent in terms of work–life balance, Singapore has recently taken a step further with its policy on extended childcare leave.
This breakthrough allows parents to spend more time with their little ones while creating better work conditions for employees. This article will discuss the recent changes for Singapore’s working parents and how this move sets an excellent example for other nations’ parental leave policies.
What is Extended Childcare Leave?
In Singapore, parents with young children can take childcare leave to care for their children without fearing losing their jobs. The extended childcare leave policy is an extension of the regular childcare leave, which allows parents to take longer periods of leave to care for their children.
1. Eligibility and Entitlements
In addition to the childcare leave entitlement for parents of Singaporean citizens under 7 years of age, eligible parents of Singaporean citizens aged 7 to 12 (inclusive) are entitled to 2 days of extended childcare leave annually. To be eligible, employees must have worked for their employer or have been self-employed for at least 3 continuous months, and their youngest child must be between 7 and 12 years old (inclusive). Wage reimbursement for these 2 days is paid by the Government, with reimbursement capped at SGD 500 per day, including Central Provident Fund contributions.
For parents with children in both age groups (i.e., under 7 years and between 7 and 12 years), the total paid childcare leave for each parent is a maximum of 6 days per year.
2. How it Differs from Regular Childcare Leave
The main difference between extended and regular childcare leave is the duration of the leave.
Regular childcare leave allows parents to take up to six days of leave per year, whereas extended childcare leave allows parents to take up to an additional six days of leave per year on top of regular childcare leave, depending on the age of their children.
Additionally, extended childcare leave can only be taken for specific reasons, such as to accompany a child for a medical appointment or to care for a child who is sick.
3. How to Apply for Extended Childcare Leave
Parents who wish to take extended childcare leave must inform their employer of their intention to take leave at least seven days in advance or as soon as possible in case of unforeseen circumstances.
They must also provide their employer with a valid medical certificate or other relevant documents to support their leave application.
How the Policy is Helping Working Parents
Discover the wonders of Singapore’s enhanced childcare leave policy. This transformative initiative has been elevating the lives of working parents and allowing them to juggle their careers and family responsibilities seamlessly.
1. Increased Flexibility and Work-Life Balance
With extended childcare leave, working parents can take time off work to care for their children when needed. This can help them achieve a better work-life balance, reducing stress and improving overall well-being.
2. Reduced Financial Burden for Parents
Caring for young children can be costly, and the extended childcare leave policy helps to ease the financial burden for working parents. With additional leave entitlements, parents can take time off work to care for their children without worrying about losing their income.
3. Improved Job Security for Parents
Extended childcare leave also provides job security for parents who need to take time off work to care for their children.
Employers must grant extended childcare leave to eligible employees, and employees are protected from discrimination or termination due to their caregiving responsibilities.
4. Better Bonding with Children
Extended childcare leave also allows working parents to spend more time with their children, which can strengthen their bond and improve family relationships. This can positively impact children’s development and well-being and the parent-child relationship.
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