Parliament: Reimbursement for additional paternity leave from July

From July, companies can claim reimbursement for their employees who took additional paternity leave from August 2015.
From July, companies can claim reimbursement for their employees who took additional paternity leave from August 2015. PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

SINGAPORE - From July, companies can claim reimbursement for their employees who took a second week of paternity leave from August last year. Children of unwed parents will from September be included for Child Development Account benefits.

The Child Development Co-savings Act was amended in Parliament on Monday (May 9) for greater support of fatherhood and for children of unwed parents.

The second week of Government-paid paternity leave was announced by the Prime Minister the National Day Rally on Aug 23, last year. From Aug 24 last year, fathers whose child was born on or after Jan 1 last year could take an additional week of paid paternal leave.

This additional paternity leave also applied to fathers who applied to adopt children on or after Jan 1, last year.

Following amendments in the Act, employers and self-employed can seek reimbursement for the paternity leave from the Government from July.

The Act was also amended to include children of unwed parents in the Child Development Account (CDA) scheme - a savings account wherein the Government matches the deposits parents make by up to $6,000 to pay for childcare and healthcare costs. These children were previously not eligible for CDA.

From September onwards, children born to unmarried parents will also benefit from the CDA First Step grant announced in this year's Budget whereby the Government will put $3,000 in each child's CDA even if parents do not deposit any money.

More amendments will be made to the Act later in this year to mandate the second week of paternity leave from January next year, and to include unwed mothers for the full 16-week paid maternity leave early next year.