Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar
MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development over the past five years, how many cases have been reported of working adults who have faced short-term family support challenges such as taking care of young sick children or elderly sick parents who cannot be left in childcare centres or nursing homes respectively.
1 In the past five years, we received feedback from less than 200 working adults on short-term family support challenges. The main concern was the challenges they face in managing work and caregiving responsibilities, for example when children and elderly parents suddenly fall ill and care arrangements need to be made urgently.
2 To attend to childcare needs, each parent can tap on 6 days of infant care leave per year for children below 2 years old, 6 days of childcare leave per year if their youngest child is below 7, and 2 days per year if their youngest child is aged 7 to 12. These leave provisions are on top of parents' annual leave provisions.
3 In addition to leave provisions, to better help working adults manage their caregiving and working responsibilities, it is important for employers to provide a family-friendly work environment, so that working caregivers have the support and flexibility needed to balance work and caregiving responsibilities. In the last two years, MOM introduced the Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements, or FWAs, to encourage employers to offer FWAs, and the Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs to encourage employers to provide employees with additional leave support during unexpected caregiving exigencies. MOM also provides funding support to employers for the sustained adoption of FWAs, through the Work-life Grant.
4 In anticipation of the rising eldercare needs as our population ages, we have been studying how to better support caregivers. The Ministry of Health, together with the Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Finance and my Ministry, have undertaken a review to strengthen support for caregivers of seniors. As part of the process, we have sought the views of caregivers, aged care service providers, healthcare professionals, community organisations, as well as tripartite partners. We will share more details in response to the motion on support for caregivers.