The Straits Times
Published on Oct 06, 2012

Baby? Maybe, if bosses are more family-friendly


Firms need to show flexibility in work arrangements and staff assessments to make it easier for people to start or expand a family, said Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob.

She raised the importance of a flexible work plan, such as allowing parents to work from home, at the Maybe Baby? dialogue held by I Love Children (ILC) on Friday. This is the first dialogue held by the voluntary welfare organisation to find out what would encourage married couples to have a baby, or more children.

Said Madam Halimah: "We have to start looking at how we can do things differently. People have to spend an unimaginable number of hours at the workplace... that is really not family-friendly."

Companies should also assess staff based on their output and not the number of hours spent at the workplace, and co-workers should be more supportive of those with families, she added.