Work-Life Grant to be extended and enhanced
The Singapore government’s Work-Life Grant, which provides employers with financial assistance to trial flexible arrangements, will be extended and enhanced.
During an International Women’s Day event last week, Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said that the expansion aims to help women achieve more a positive work-life balance, so they do not feel the need to choose between “full-time work and zero time”.
The scheme was initially set to expire this month.
The grant's expanded benefits will include a higher quantum per employee. Currently, the grant disburses $2,000 per employee per year for the first five employees, and $1,500 for subsequent employees (capped at 20). Moving forward, employers will be funded at $2,000 per employee per year over two years – for up to 35 employees.
Further, companies that provide job sharing for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) will be eligible to receive S$3,500 per employee – which is almost double the maximum of $2,000 per employee that is provided by the scheme at present.
"The higher grant per employee on flexible work arrangements, including job-sharing, will provide more upfront support to help employees take the first step to encourage their employees to adopt flexible work arrangements," said Teo.
But the changes aren’t all talk only: employers will also find it easier to apply for the Work-Life Grant.
Previously, for a company to qualify, at least 20% of its employees had to be working on flexible work arrangements. Now, each company only needs to have at least one employee adopting such arrangements.
"This was in response to feedback from companies on the difficulties they face in meeting this criteria,” said Teo.
The Singapore government has reportedly set aside a budget of S$30 million over two years to support the Work-Life Grant.