Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to PQ on Support for Nursing Mothers in Phase 3 of Re-Opening and Beyond in Set-Up of Lactation Rooms in Private Workplaces
NOTICE PAPER NO. 189 OF 2020 FOR THE SITTING ON 4 JANUARY 2021
QUESTION NO. 321 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: Ms Rachel Ong
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) how can companies be encouraged to support nursing mothers in Phase 3 of the re-opening and beyond in the set-up of lactation rooms in private workplaces since applications for the Work Life Grant that could have been used for that purpose has closed since 18 August 2020; and (b) whether the Ministry will review the guidelines that allow nursing mothers either more flexibility to work from home or for employers to provide appropriate lactation rooms.
Under the Code on Accessibility in the Built Environment, owners of specific building types that are frequented by the general public are required to provide at least one lactation room. These include offices and business parks. All new buildings as well as existing buildings undergoing addition and alteration works that need building plan approvals from the Building Construction Authority (BCA) have to comply with the Code.
To meet the needs of workers, including nursing mothers, for flexible work arrangements (FWAs), MOM will continue to support the implementation of FWAs, including work-from-home (WFH). In 2019, about 85% of employers offered some form of FWA. During COVID-19, WFH was further normalised with many more employers implementing them.
Tripartite partners will also be progressively implementing the recommendations of the Citizens' Panel on Work-Life Harmony that were submitted last year, such as developing an FWA implementation guide and sector-specific Communities of Practice on FWAs. These will support companies to implement and sustain FWAs in the new normal and beyond.