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Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower & Senior Minister of State, National Development, to Parliamentary Question on Flexi-Hour PMET Jobs

Ms Tan Su Shan: To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower (a) whether the Ministry monitors the number of new roles or jobs created that offer flexible hours, in particular for PMET roles; and (b) whether any measures can be taken to increase these types of new and flexible jobs and to offer such opportunities to mothers who may wish to return to the workforce on a part-time basis.

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin:

  1. The Government has put in place a range of initiatives to promote flexible work arrangements and to help individuals return to the workforce. This includes WorkPro that was launched this month as a one-stop programme to encourage employers to build progressive workplaces through funding assistance for flexible work arrangements and to recruit back-to-work individuals, including mothers, by supporting job redesign and on-the job training.
  2. In particular, the Work-Life Grant under WorkPro provides funding of up to $160,000 per employer to encourage the implementation and support of the use of flexible work arrangements by their employees. Employers who hire and retain back-to-work individuals can also receive On-the-Job Training Allowances and New Hire Retention Incentives of up to $4,000 per worker. This encourages employers to put in more effort to hire and retain back-to-work individuals, including by equipping them with the right skills on the job. We also work with various agencies, including the Employer Alliance, to promote positive mindsets and build capability to offer flexible work arrangements at the workplace through forums, tool kits and case studies. Through these measures, we hope that more employers will redesign their workplaces and offer more flexible jobs to attract those who wish to return to the workforce.
  3. We will continue to work closely with our tripartite partners to facilitate the gainful employment of back-to-work individuals on flexible work arrangements or otherwise. While we do not track statistics on the number of job vacancies that offer flexible working hours, we do monitor the proportion of establishments that offer flexible working arrangements as an indication of how commonly available such options are. We are heartened that there is a rising trend of employers offering flexible work arrangements to their employees. In 2012, 41% of establishments offered at least one form of work-life arrangement to their employees, up from 25% in 2007. 1

1 Source: MOM’s Conditions of Employment Survey 2010. The survey covered establishments in the private sector each with at least 25 employees and the public sector comprising government ministries, organs of state and statutory boards.