Minister Grace Fu: NTUC's call for broadened family care benefits a step in the 'right direction'

Minister Grace Fu (right) speaking with Sue Tan, 35, and her son Ashton Kee, 4, at Little Skool House, OCBC Centre.The National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) call for companies to extend family care benefits to all employees with dependents, on top o
Minister Grace Fu (right) speaking with Sue Tan, 35, and her son Ashton Kee, 4, at Little Skool House, OCBC Centre.The National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) call for companies to extend family care benefits to all employees with dependents, on top of those with young children, is a step in the right direction, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Ms Grace Fu, on Friday, Feb 14, 2014 -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM

The National Trades Union Congress' (NTUC) call for companies to extend family care benefits to all employees with dependents, on top of those with young children, is a step in the right direction, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Ms Grace Fu, on Friday.

She said: "I think that's the right direction to go because in order for us to meet with the needs of an ageing society and also a slow labour growth scenario, we need to keep people in our workplace as long as possible."

On Thursday, the NTUC issued four new guidelines for companies, which include providing family support schemes and facilities and family care leave to all employees who need to take care of dependents, including elderly relatives.

Ms Fu was speaking at the sidelines of her visit to the OCBC Centre to learn more about the bank's work-life friendly practices.

Part of its work-life balance programmes include having two days of extended childcare leave for employers with children aged 8 to 12 years old, on top of its paid annual leave of up to 24 working days per year.

In addition, employees who are not eligible for childcare leave and extended childcare leave schemes have two days of family leave to attend to family matters.

The bank also has family support facilities such as an in-house childcare centre, where staff can get discounted rates for childcare services.

Such practices are good for attracting and retaining talent, said Ms Fu.

She added: "The more we are able to engage employees, to let the employees feel that their needs are being met and listened to, the better it will be for the companies in terms of retaining them and developing them."

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