Flexi-work options can help ease mums back to work

The Government has been encouraging women to go back to work after they have given birth (More help for women to relaunch careers; Aug 17).

While the Government has done much, more needs to be done if more women are going to be persuaded to rejoin the workforce.

Working parents get to see their children for barely two hours on weekdays and fewer than eight hours on weekends when the young ones attend weekend classes or co-curricular activities.

Most mothers are likely to go back to work after giving birth because of the high cost of living and social pressure in Singapore.

Middle- and low-income families have difficulty managing the family finances on a single income, what with loans and expenses to settle every month.

How can the Government help working mothers who wish to take care of their children after school, especially those in professional jobs?

Those who have higher educational qualifications are unable to find professional jobs that allow for half a day's work. These women often have to compromise by working part-time jobs, for example, doing administrative or freelance work .

Children will receive better emotional support when they are in their mother's care after school. With more quality time spent together, there is better communication and bonding.

Could the public sector take the lead by offering half-day jobs for mothers who wish to take care of their children after school hours?

Alternatively, assistance could be provided to mothers who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs so that they can have more flexible work schedules.

Pang Wen Sze (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2017, with the headline 'Flexi-work options can help ease mums back to work'. Print Edition | Subscribe