Singapore considers shared pool of parental leave between parents
Members of Parliaments (MPs) in Singapore are calling on the government to provide more parental leave, and a more equal split of such leave between mothers and fathers.
Workers’ Party (WP) MP Louis Chua, from Sengkang GRC, urged the Government to adopt a shared parental care leave scheme that would offer parents a total of 24 weeks of government-paid leave, instead of the current 16-week maternity and two-week paternity leave entitlement.
The proposal will result in a more equitable distribution of statutory parental leave and help reshape societal perceptions on gender roles, he said in Parliament, reports The Straits Times.
It will allow mothers and fathers to share the 24 weeks of government-paid leave, but grant a minimum four weeks to the father, and 12 weeks to the mother.
Under the proposal, an additional bonus number of weeks could also be awarded to the shared pool of leave if the fathers utilise the full four weeks of parental leave awarded.
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“The hope is that over time, these increased entitlements become entrenched as social norms – as has happened in countries like Germany – as more parents utilise their full entitlement, initially to benefit from the bonuses, and over time because it is simply the thing to do,” he added.