Why treat those on flexi-work schemes differently?

Office workers crossing the road during the lunch hour at Singapore's central business district.
Office workers crossing the road during the lunch hour at Singapore's central business district.PHOTO: ST FILE

The increase in government funding for companies that offer flexi-work arrangements (More funds available to help companies offer flexi-work, March 6), along with the purported benefits of these arrangements (Power of flexi-work options in a tight labour market, March 6), are good news for the many of us who are juggling family and work.

However, if employer mentalities and company cultures do not change, the take-up rate for these arrangements will be low.

I have been on a flexi-work scheme for about two years, reporting to and ending work 30 minutes earlier than my peers, so as to be able to pick my child up from primary school after work.

When my company first introduced the flexi-work scheme, there was a lot of disdain for those who took it up, due to the perception that we were enjoying benefits not available to other workers, even though anyone who had a valid reason could apply for the scheme.

The scheme also comes with many conditions, which can make it difficult to stay on.

These include having to seek re-approval from the boss every three months, with no guarantee of it being granted, and the monitoring of attendance via a biometric system.

While I understand that the company is trying to protect its own interests, our work performance is no less than that of a regular worker.

Why treat us like second-class workers when we work the full hours?

Tan Wei Ling (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2019, with the headline 'Why treat those on flexi-work schemes differently?'. Print Edition | Subscribe