Singapore—On Facebook today, Member of Parliament Louis Ng announced that he would be “Speaking up for parents, children and public servants today” (Thursday, February 28).
The first two items on his agenda are these:
- Extend parental leave for parents with multiples or preterm babies,
- Extend childcare leave especially for parents with 2 or more kids.”
He actually expounded on the second point on Wednesday, February 27, on another Facebook account, and asked netizens to help share and spread the word.
Perhaps his points have resonated with netizens, who have shared his post over 1,200 times, but more importantly, parents have given him feedback and suggested changes of their own.
But let’s get a rundown on what Mr Ng is saying concerning “Time for more childcare leave.”
He says that “When you have more kids, you don’t get additional leave. As Mr Ng writes, parents with four kids clearly need more leave than parents with one child.”
Secondly, common contagious diseases such as Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) may take longer than 6 days to clear up. The MP says his daughter Ella was out of school for two weeks because of it, when his children had it one after another.
Mr Ng then asks, “Can we consider giving childcare leave on a per child basis?
For parents with two or more kids, I will ask the Minister to consider allowing parents to use their sick leave entitlement when their child is sick. Parents can provide their child’s MC as proof when using this leave.”
Parents responded to Mr Ng’s proposal with emphatic agreement, telling their own stories of when their children were sick, and came up with valid suggestions of their own.
One, many netizens suggested a change in corporate culture that would allow for more absences for parents with sick children for them not to be penalized.
Another netizen asked about time off for elder care, which for some families goes hand in hand with child care.
More than one commenter suggested the option of working from home when children are ill
Another talked about how salaries should rise to keep up with childcare costs
One netizen asked about a transfer of childcare leave between parents
Others suggested extending childcare leave until children are 12, since parents are only entitled to 2 days leave for children who are 7 to 12 years old.
Others proposed extra childcare days for single and divorced parents
Overall, many were thankful to Mr Ng for bringing up this matter
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