PAP Women's Wing call for flexi-work laws

The People's Action Party's Women's Wing is proposing laws allowing for flexible work arrangements, as part of several pro-family suggestions submitted to the Manpower Ministry.

In a position paper released on Wednesday, the Women's Wing called for employment legislation where workers with children below the age of 12 can request for a change in the number of hours, and when and where they work.

Workers should also be allowed to take no-pay leave for up to one year to take care of their children, and guaranteed to positions in the company when they return.

The hope is that these laws could be introduced within the next two to three years, and the Government could first start by setting clear guidelines on flexi-work for employers.

The Women's Wing also suggested employers be given help and incentives to implement pro-family policies.

Companies who have fair employment practices, and fulfill certain criteria in hiring women including back-to-work mothers, older workers and persons with special needs could be given additional help in hiring foreign workers.

For example, their applications for work passes for could be processed faster, levies could be lowered, and they can also have a higher dependency ratio for hiring foreign workers.

All companies could also receive a "back to work" employment credit, similar to the current Jobs Credit scheme, could be granted to companies hiring women returning to the workforce, for up to one year of their return.

Other suggestions include setting up an agency acting as a one-stop centre for pro-family and flexi-work practices; and mandating that areas or buildings of a certain commercial or residential density must have a childcare centre, to encourage more childcare centres built near offices and homes.

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