Thursday, February 10, 2011

Singapore Paternity Leave

Recently, there's this talk about the government revising the baby bonus scheme, etc to encourage citizens to make more babies since the current scheme that they have doesn't seem to be working as there's no increase in the birth rate. I came across this article today in Yahoo News.

They are proposing a 2 weeks leave for new fathers and some of them propose converting the mother's last 1 month of maternity leave to parental leave so that she can transfer it to the father. I think a 2 weeks paternity leave is quite a good improvement of what we have right now. My husband only got 2 days paternity leave, and he wasn't even properly on leave as he was working on his laptop while he was accompanying me in the hospital. I was there for 5 days so his paternity leave was over even before I was discharged from the hospital!!

I am always jealous of the spouses of my male colleagues because male Googlers get 1 month paternity leave when their wives give birth, so these guys can stay at home to take care of their recuperating wives and new babies, while I had to bring my mom over to take care of me! And my other friends had to hire confinement nannies to take care of them. If they really give 1 month paternity leave, I think lots of people will really consider having more kids man.

In my company, I also see a lot of people taking extended (unpaid) maternity leave and their managers are totally OK with it and when they come back to work, they still get the same job back. I'm not sure how they do it, but I think this might not be easy to implement in other companies. But this is really good to have :)

My own idea on how to make more babies:
  1. 1 month (or more) paternity leave
  2. 4 months maternity leave (with options to extend it to another 2 months unpaid)
  3. Help companies that have more than x numbers of employees to setup child care services near the office
  4. Subsidize hospitalization fee for people giving birth in public hospital
  5. Free education like what Australian schools have for Singaporean
  6. Implement lights-out day in Singapore so that there's nothing else for Singaporeans to do except to make babies hahah
  7. Lower down HDB prices as now they are almost as expensive as condos, and where do you supposed we should put the kids if our house is so small?
  8. Cheaper doctor's fee for the kids - vaccinations are expensive!!

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