Cuts by MP Louis Ng for Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Committee of Supply debate 2020
Increase the minimum amount of annual leave
I appreciate that the government is looking into work-life balance and is introducing several new initiatives.
When it comes to work-life balance, Singapore ranks poorly. We rank 32nd out of 40 cities for work life balance and are second only to Tokyo in a ranking for the most overworked cities.
Beyond flexible working arrangements, I hope we can also look into increasing the minimum amount of annual leave one is entitled to. This is not a zero sum game. We can have flexible working arrangements and still give our people more leave.
The current minimum of only 7 days of annual leave is extremely low. Many other countries in this region provide a higher minimum number of annual leave including Malaysia, Bangladesh, Japan, Myanmar, East Timor, Sri Lanka, Laos, Mongolia, South Korea, Qatar, Yemen, Iran, Kuwait and Indonesia.
Many of these countries provide not only a higher number of minimum days of annual leave, but also a higher number of paid public holidays.
Our people will always work hard, but we also need to make sure they have enough annual leave to rest.
Provide parent-care leave to everyone
This government recognises that we need to spend time looking after our parents. It has been 8 years since we introduced parent-care leave in the civil service and it is time now for everyone else to have this. We need to legislate it.
Time to spend time with our parents runs out quickly. With a rapidly greying population, time is running out for the government to act on this too.
If the government feels that it is important for civil servants to have parent-care leave, then why not others? We are a family-friendly employer and now we should be a family-friendly government.
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