Don't penalise parents who take leave to care for kids

I applaud the various initiatives to further improve the work-life environment for parents ("'Extra push' to help couples have babies"; last Monday).

But more needs to be done to change the mindset of local bosses.

For example, my wife, who is a civil servant, gave birth to our second child in July last year and went on maternity leave. She also took childcare leave after our children fell sick.

She was given a performance rating that was lower than average because when she was not in the office, she was perceived to have lower productivity compared to her colleagues.This was despite the fact that all the leave utilised was within the guidelines.

I worked at a government-linked company last year. After I utilised my childcare leave, my boss advised me against taking too much leave too frequently. This was despite knowing that my children were sick.

It would be a more holistic approach if the Government can do more to protect young parents against such scrutiny.

Ng Boon Siang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2015, with the headline 'Don't penalise parents who take leave to care for kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe