Written Answer to PQ on Eldercare Leave and Flexible Work Arrangements for Caregivers
NOTICE PAPER NO. 832 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON 10 JANUARY 2022
QUESTION NO. 1333 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
MP: Miss Rachel Ong
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) what is the average number of days of annual leave that is taken by married and single caregivers in the public sector for eldercare from 2015 to 2020; (b) whether any survey has been conducted on the need for eldercare leave on top of flexible work arrangements amongst working caregivers; and (c) if so, what are the comparative results of this survey against findings from any other earlier surveys.
1. Civil servants are not required to declare reasons for their utilisation of annual leave. To further support officers’ eldercare needs, if any, civil servants are entitled to 2 days of Parent Care Leave in addition to their annual leave provisions. Between 2015 to 2020, close to half of civil servants utilised Parent Care Leave. Amongst them, the average utilisation per officer was 1.5 to 2 days per year. Utilisation was broadly similar across married and single officers.
2. MOM does not have survey data on the need for eldercare leave on top of flexible work arrangements (FWAs) amongst working caregivers. Nevertheless, in focus group discussions conducted by MOH in 2018, working caregivers provided feedback that they preferred FWAs to leave provisions, as FWAs provided them greater flexibility and sustainability in meeting their caregiving needs.
3. As such, tripartite partners have been stepping up efforts to increase access to FWAs. From 2014 to 2019, the proportion of employers who offer at least one formal FWA on a regular and sustained basis rose from 47% to 53%. As employers and workers adapt to the pandemic, the proportion of employers who did so in 2020 further increased to close to 8 in 10, and we expect many employers will continue to do so as FWAs become a more accepted way of working.
4. We will continue to review and enhance our efforts to entrench and strengthen the practice of FWAs to help employees, including caregivers of the elderly, manage both their work and caregiving responsibilities.