Staff at more than 100 organisations left their offices at 5pm on June 6, 2003, so that they could go home and have dinner with their families.
It marked Singapore's first Eat With Your Family Day, which was proposed by the non-profit Centre for Fathering. The occasion was also part of the National Family Week, which ran from June 6 to 15.
According to a poll then, eight out of 10 Singaporeans did not have dinner with their families on weekdays. It also showed that work commitments prevented Singaporeans from having family dinners.
The Centre for Fathering, assisted by the then Ministry of Community Development and Sports (MCDS), sent out invitations to about 3,000 organisations, asking them to release their staff at 5pm on June 6.
Law firm Drew & Napier, software maker Microsoft Singapore, telecommunications company SingTel and the MCDS itself were among 104 organisations which said they would participate in the occasion.
Since its launch in 2003, the Eat With Your Family Day has been observed annually. It was recently observed on May 30, 2014, with 196 companies pledging to let their staff off work early.
Only half as many companies signed up to take part in the occasion in 2014 as compared with two years ago. In 2013, 354 firms signed up. In 2012, 403 did so.
Some of the organisations that took part in 2014 included the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, debt-collecting company Miliken and Craig, Deutsche Bank and restaurant group Paradise Group.