Extended leave benefits for dads, unwed mums passed into law in Singapore
By Linette Lim, Updated 10 Nov 2016 23:06
New fathers will get two weeks of Government-paid paternity leave, while unwed mothers will get 16 weeks of maternity leave from Jan 1 next year, after Parliament passed changes to the Child Development Co-Savings Act (CDCA) on Thursday (Nov 10).
Currently, fathers are entitled to only one week of compulsory, Government-paid paternity leave, with a second week provided by their employers on a voluntary basis. Unwed mothers, meanwhile, are entitled to eight weeks of maternity leave under the Employment Act.
The Amendment Bill also provided for shared parental leave to be increased from one to four weeks, from Jul 1 next year. This refers to leave taken from the spouse’s maternity leave, if she opts to share it.
Including the six days of childcare leave and one week of unpaid infant care leave that fathers are currently entitled to, the changes bring the number of leave days fathers can take in their child’s first year to up to two months.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Two weeks of paid paternity leave: Fathers can choose to clear the two-week block of leave within 16 weeks from the birth of the child.
Alternatively, they can work out an agreement with their employer to take the leave flexibly by days within a year from the birth of the child.
Four weeks of shared parental leave: Parents can decide how to apportion the four weeks of shared parental leave between them at any time before the child turns 1 year old. The decision cannot be changed once it is made. Fathers can choose to use the shared leave in one continuous stretch or flexibly by days, subject to his employer’s agreement.
12 weeks of adoption leave for mothers: This must be used within a year from the birth of the child. The mother should clear the leave at one go from the date of her formal intent to adopt. Alternatively, she can work out an agreement with her employer to clear an eight-week stretch and take the remaining four weeks of leave flexibly.