Fathers could get longer paternity leave

Mr Terence Tan, 37, an algorithmic forex trader, playing with his one-year-old son Darius at home on Feb 5. 
Mr Terence Tan, 37, an algorithmic forex trader, playing with his one-year-old son Darius at home on Feb 5.  ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Fathers may soon get more time to spend with their newborn children, as the Government considers making a second week of paternity leave compulsory.

Also being reviewed: whether working mothers can share more of their 16 weeks of paid maternity leave with their husbands.

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo, who oversees population issues, said yesterday that these possibilities to help fathers play a bigger role in parenting and help lift birth rates here are being considered.

First-time fathers cheered the review, saying that the first week of having a newborn marks a crucial "transition period".

But business leaders said a balanced approach is needed, and such measures may be burdensome to small businesses that are facing the strain of economic restructuring.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2016, with the headline 'Fathers could get longer paternity leave'. Print Edition | Subscribe