Public servants can now take up to six weeks of unpaid leave should they have urgent needs, as the public service adopts the Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs from today.
The move, announced by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo yesterday, comes amid the push for a whole-of-society effort to forge strong families for all.
Speaking at the FamChamps Awards Ceremony at Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), she said about 190,000 employees working for over 200 employers, including the public service, are covered by this standard.
"More than half of these employers are from the private sector and I'm hopeful more will come on board," she added.
The Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs was introduced earlier this year to help workers cope with family needs. It encourages employers to provide up to four weeks of unpaid leave for employees with infants with unexpected care needs, such as those with congenital conditions, or in cases of preterm births.
It also provides up to two weeks of unpaid leave for employees with immediate family members who are hospitalised.
Mrs Teo said the Government and the community both have roles to play so that parenthood remains achievable, enjoyable and celebrated.
"In fact, our entire society must come together to ensure marriage and parenthood are not just an afterthought but aspirations that are actively pursued, because we know these aspirations are within reach, they are supported and they are rewarding," she added.