Flexible work can ease pressure on working caregivers in Singapore
As Singapore’s population continues to age, employees who are taking on the dual role of caregivers should be provided more support to allow them to thrive at work, while being able to take care of their loved ones.
According to the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), besides making paid caregiving leave mandatory, employers also need to provide more flexibility in work arrangements for employees who are caregivers.
The labour movement drew on findings from a poll of 1,000 employees it conducted this January and February, where 85% of respondents identified flexi-work arrangements as being most likely to help them in managing work and caregiving responsibilities.
This was followed by paid leave for caregiving (64%) and financial support in the form of medical or health insurance, or subsidies (57.5%). Currently, many caregivers are having to take unpaid time off from work, resulting in feelings of disconnect and isolation.
Besides offering more work flexibility and paid caregiving leave, NTUC also recommended that jobs be redesigned, and job tasks split up to allow them to be completed remotely. Job advertisements should also include flexible working arrangements details to allow job seekers to make an informed decision on the job they want to apply for, said NTUC.
By 2030, nearly one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above and there will be only 2.4 working-age citizens for every senior citizen, down from 3.3 in 2022, reported The Straits Times.