Eldercare leave in Singapore: No plans to legislate

SINGAPORE - The Government has no plans to make eldercare leave mandatory, because employers are still adjusting to recent moves to extend other family-related leave schemes, said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.

The clear stance came in his reply to two MPs urging for such a move during the debate on amendments to the Employment Act.

They were Nominated MP Mary Liew and Dr Chia Shi-Lu (Tanjong Pagar GRC).

Public calls for eldercare leave have also grown in the past few months.

Last month, Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob said that enshrining this right into law would send a strong signal to employers to support workers with ageing parents.

Mr Tan said on Tuesdaythat he "agrees in principle that it is important to encourage support for elderly parents".

But the Government's January Marriage and Parenthood package made one week of paternity leave mandatory, and extended childcare leave.

"So we are mindful that we should allow businesses to adjust and we do not have plans to legislate any (other) family leave schemes at this present stage," he said.

He added that there are tripartite guidelines encouraging companies to grant non-statutory leave to employees for family-related issues.

In late 2011, the Civil Service introduced two-day parent care leave and civil servants are not required to produce a medical certificate when applying for it.

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