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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo to Parliamentary Question on Childcare Leave

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1878 OF 2019 FOR THE SITTING ON 5 NOVEMBER 2019
QUESTION NO. 1473 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

MP: Louis Ng Kok Kwang

To ask the Minister for Manpower based on cases brought to the Ministry or Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) (a) what are the top three reasons that employers give for denying employees access to childcare leave; (b) how many cases have been brought to TAFEP in each of the past five years for denial of childcare leave; and (c) in how many of these cases have the employees obtained the childcare leave sought or employers changed their childcare leave policies following TAFEP's intervention.

Answer

  1. The vast majority of employers and employees have been able to work out mutually agreeable arrangements for the taking of childcare leave. 
  2. In the past five years, MOM and TAFEP did not receive any case where an employee had applied for childcare leave and the employer had unreasonably rejected the application. During this period, MOM handled 15 cases where childcare leave was either not provided or under-provided in an employee’s contract. The main reason for employers not having fulfilled their statutory obligations was a lack of awareness of employees’ entitlements. In all 15 cases, MOM required the employers to rectify their childcare leave policies to comply with the law, and took enforcement action against them.