Less than 50% of S’porean parents take maximum childcare leave allowance: MSF
The figure is rising, very slowly.
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Less than half of both working fathers and mothers have taken the maximum number of days granted under Government-Paid Child Care Leave (GPCL) and Extended Child Care Leave (ECL) between 2016 and 2018.
This was revealed by Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee in a written reply to Nominated Member of Parliament Walter Theseira and MP Louis Ng in Parliament, on Monday and Tuesday.
Lee added however, the take-up rate for this is gradually rising.
Background: What is GPCL and ECL?
The GPCL allows working parents with children below seven years of age to take up to six days of childcare leave.
Employers absorb the cost for the first to third days, and the government reimburses companies for the remaining three.
Working parents with children aged seven to 12 are provided with two days of government-paid ECL.
The ECL scheme was first implemented in 2013.
Breakdown of parents by number of days taken for childcare leave
Lee showed the following statistics, broken down over the past three years, and the percentage of parents who took four, five and six days:
The figures also don’t include parents whose employers did not file claims from the government, as well as those who only took between one and three days.
And for ECL, the percentages of parents who took one and both days between 2016 and 2018 are as follows:
And these are the figures produced in response to Theseira’s question, requesting the breakdown by age groups of parents who take childcare leave:
Ng previously called for more childcare leave
This is not the first time Ng has touched on childcare leave.
Back in February, Ng voiced his opinion that the current six days of childcare leave under the GPCL are insufficient.
Ng added that it did not make sense that the leave entitlement did not increase as parents had more children.
Additionally, given that Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) has become more commonplace, six days of childcare leave may not be enough for parents who have to take time off to care for their children.
Ng also shared his personal experience of all three of his children contracting HFMD consecutively, and said he was unsure if parents with two or more children would have enough annual leave after using up their childcare leave entitlements.
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