Enhancing Support For Working Caregivers
The Government works closely with tripartite partners to provide a wide range of support for caregivers, to help them manage both caregiving and work responsibilities.
2 Findings from the NTUC #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations campaign are consistent with past feedback that the Government has received on caregiving. For example, most working caregivers preferred flexible work arrangements (FWAs), more so than paid leave and financial support. FWAs are sustainable and provide greater flexibility in meeting diverse caregiving needs.
3 Tripartite partners have been stepping up efforts over the years to make FWAs more prevalent at the workplace, and we have seen good progress. From 2014 to 2022, the proportion of employers who offer at least one FWA on a sustained basis rose from 47% to 71%. If we include employers who provide FWAs on an ad-hoc basis, this proportion increases to 83%.
4 We will continue to encourage and equip businesses to adopt Tripartite Standards that set out best practices in fostering a more supportive and inclusive workplace. This includes the Tripartite Standard on Flexible Work Arrangements (TS-FWA), Tripartite Standard on Work-Life Harmony and the Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs. Tripartite partners have also convened a new workgroup to develop Tripartite Guidelines on FWAs by 2024. The Guidelines will build on the best practices set out under TS-FWA and make clear the norms and expectations on FWAs for both employers and employees. This includes how employees should request for FWAs, and how employers should fairly consider and respond to FWA requests by their employees.
5 It is important that any enhancements to support for working caregivers be sustainable, taking into account business needs and constraints amidst inflationary environments as well as other costs structures due to the geo-political uncertainties and potential supply chain disruptions. The Government will take NTUC’s feedback into consideration. The workgroup to develop the Tripartite Guidelines on FWAs is co-chaired by Minister of State for Manpower Ms Gan Siow Huang, NTUC Director, Women and Family / U SME Ms Yeo Wan Ling, and SNEF Honorary Secretary Mr Edwin Ng. Together with NTUC, SNEF and other community partners as members, the workgroup will look into how to better support our working caregivers through FWAs.