You may have heard of the saying: It takes a village to raise a child. In a thriving, bustling modern metropolis like Singapore, the village extends beyond extended family and friends to yes, your workplace.

According to UK charity Save the Children’s 2019 End of Childhood Index, Singapore topped the rankings out of a total of 176 countries as the best place for children to grow up in, beating out developed nations such as Sweden, Germany, South Korea and Japan.

While good healthcare, education and safety for children matters, the reality is that raising healthy children in happy families takes the combined efforts of everyone in society. Pro-family practices are especially crucial for working mums and dads to successfully balance work and family.

Keep yourself well-informed about the family-friendly benefits and practices available in the workplace. Here are some common myths and facts that you should know:

Myth #1: Mums get more parental leave than dads.

Fact: Did you know that new mums and dads can share up to four weeks of her 16-week Government-Paid Maternity Leave?

Dads who want to be more involved in their newborn’s childcare can apply for the Shared Parental Leave. It must be taken within 12 months from the child's birth, and in a continuous block or blocks of weeks. Dads will be paid their salary, capped at $2,500 per week.

Myth #2: Parents will need to use their annual leave if their child falls sick or needs to be cared for at home.

Fact: A working parent with a child below seven years old is eligible for six days of Government-paid Childcare Leave every year.

The Childcare Leave is capped at maximum six days per year for each parent. If you have an older child between seven to 12 years, you are entitled to two days of Extended Childcare Leave every year. For both, you will have to be with your current employer for at least three months.

Myth #3: Mums-to-be or new mums will have no recourse if your employer dismisses you without good reasons during your pregnancy or while you are on maternity leave.

Fact: Employers must pay full maternity leave benefits if they dismiss or retrench a female employee without sufficient reasons at any stage of their pregnancy or while she is on maternity leave.

To be eligible for this protection, you will need to have worked for your employer for a continuous duration of at least three months and have obtained a doctor’s certification on your pregnancy before the notice of dismissal.

Myth #4: Finding an employer who offers flexible work arrangements is a hit-or-miss affair.

Fact: Did you know that you can easily identify employers with progressive workplace practices by looking out for the Tripartite Standards logos on mycareersfuture.gov.sg?

The Tripartite Standards were introduced in 2017 by the Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress, and Singapore National Employers Federation to identify employers who adopt flexible work arrangements, provide additional unpaid leave and promote Work-Life Harmony for employees.

Want to find out more? Visit Made for Families to learn about the parental benefits and family-friendly practices available to you.

Tags: Caregiving /Family Bonding