Mr Seah Kian Peng
Marine Parade GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development
(a) from 2013 to 2015, how many eligible working fathers have applied for a full week of paid paternity leave; and
(b) how many employers have agreed to provide an additional week of paid paternity leave since the initiative was announced at the National Day Rally in August 2015.
Mdm Speaker, 5,500 eligible working fathers applied for Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) in 2013. The number is small, as the scheme started only on 1 May 2013.
In 2014 and 2015, the numbers were 11,900 and 12,300 respectively.
The enhanced paternity leave was announced at the National Day Rally in August 2015. With the employers’ agreement, fathers of babies born on or after 1 January 2015 can claim an additional week of paternity leave. Employers will be able to submit their claims from mid-2016 after changes to the IT system and processes are completed. The statistic on the take-up of this leave enhancement will be available after that.
With the additional week of paternity leave granted, fathers can have more opportunities to spend with their children. I think it is also important for their marriage to allow both parents, the fathers and mothers, to not only enjoy the joys of parenthood but also to partake in the responsibilities of bringing up the child.