Fathers-to-be better not be too happy about this because employers are not dumb.Now, even with the issue of ICT every year affecting some younger Singaporean males, some employers are giving such Singaporeans the miss. Same with pregnant women, even if the Government is willing to pay their salary on behalf of employers, for the extra month or two of maternity leave.As a matter of interest, a longer period of maternity leave or giving paternity leave may not solve the problem of encouraging Singaporeans to have more babies. As all parents know, having a child is a long term commitment of caring and suporting, both financially and mentally. As someone wrote on TOC, bringing a child into this world is easy. What is difficult is sacrificing time and commitment. which no one else can duplicate. Not grandparents, maids or child caregivers.
I agree with the previous comment. Employers now look at the bottom line and are not happy to give paternity benefit, maternity benefit and other benefits. Small companies are struggling, so the additional cost hurts them. Big companies can afford the benefits, but their HR look at the bottom line, so they are also not happy to pay these benefits. The government has to take care of all the cost, rather than expect the employer to be generous. Gone are the old days!
Paternity leave only works in the over bloated and over staffed Ministries and the Bureaucracy, where the men (and their wives on maternity leave) could easily stand in for each other.In the Private sector, where costs and profits are the surviving factors,the bosses would have nightmares, now having to give male employees time to serve as fathers, besides serving NS Reservice obligations.
Personally, though I do not have any children, this benefit I agree with all that it benefit our overstaff civil service. Our present Government is doing 'fire fighting' - a scholar say wants this they implement. Go to the root of the problem which is our high COST of bringing up children and STRESS for our children. Our Education System need to be revamp from pre-school all the way to University. Do not just look into pre-school, it is just 'peanuts'.
The problem with going to the root of the problem is that the Government is the root of the problem of high cost of bringing up children. And nothing is more apparent than the high cost of housing and high cost of rental for businesses, which all points to Government policies.So, the answer to that is to touch on everything that does not lead to the root and lead everyone on a wild goose chase, tossing up half baked ideas like giving preferences to HDB applicants with children.
Giving birth is a social benefit and is critical for a country like Singapore but in typical PAP fashion, the government is passing the buck to the private sector and making employers pay for the first 2 months of maternity leave while they only reimburse for the 3rd and 4th child. A woman on maternity is really a liability to many small businesses. Not only do they have to pay for an absent staff, they have to pay for another staff who may be untrained and unfamiliar to replace the staff on maternity.In today's economy, more and more companies are already delaying and defaulting payments. Is it any wonder why companies try to escape this unnecessary burden forcefully shoved down their necks by the government? For a big company with hugely positive cashflow, the maternity benefit is a drop in the bucket to them but to a small company, that extra one month of salary to an absent staff may just drive the nail into the coffin for them.Many women have complained of being unfairly terminated prior to giving birth but this problem can be greatly reduced if the government is willing to bear the cost of maternity.This situation is akin to men on ICT. Even with the government bearing the cost of the absentee staff, many companies are already unwilling to let the men go as they would be struggling with the temporary loss of staff and the training and orientation of a new staff.For women giving birth, the companies experience a double whammy.Let's get the basics right first. Population increase is a social benefit and is the responsibility of the government. By passing the cost of maternity leave to the private companies, the government is shirking part of its responsibility and then wondering why the population is not increasing.Better still, it is blaming everybody else and bring in FTs to "solve" this population problem.Without solving this fundamental issue, we should not even consider paternity leave and much less extending the maternity leave to 6 months.
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