Issues to consider if men's work hours are cut to boost fertility rate

Assistant Professor Erin Hye-Won Kim's recommendation to cut men's work hours to increase fertility is a fine one (Want more babies? Try cutting men's work hours; April 2).

Reading the piece has made me consider a few issues:

• Should the low fertility rate be framed as a problem? Since our high population density seems to be one of the key sources of unhappiness in Singapore, pushing for an increase in fertility rate may not be worth it.

• Cutting work hours for men may not cut their workload. However, meticulous policy-crafting can mitigate that.

• If the workload and work hours are cut for men, would the workload then be passed to the women in the workplace?

• Enforcing that the workload for both men and women be reduced may push businesses up against the wall. In the end, it may just boil down to increasing productivity to create more space for such policies to be beneficial.

Jackson Lian

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2018, with the headline 'Issues to consider if men's work hours are cut to boost fertility rate'. Print Edition | Subscribe