Monday, December 22, 2008

Work-Life Balance Improving In Singapore

According to a report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) today, employers in Singapore are stepping up to the mark when it comes to improving work-life balance for their people.

This has been an area of focus for quite a long time in many other countries (with the implementation of what is often referred to as 'family friendly' policies).

In Singapore, some of the efforts undertaken by companies include the adoption of flexible working hours, and the granting of higher leave benefits such as paternity and maternity leave.

The report surveyed 2,940 establishments, accounting for around 840,000 employees.

The MoM report has stated that about one out of ten of all employers have adopted "flexible working hour" policies, as well as allowing more of their staff to work from home.

Many companies in the private sector are going above and beyond what is legally expected of them. 7.1% of companies had flexible work schedules this year - an increase over two years ago (5.4%).

Although the law states that companies must provide sick leave, annual leave and childcare leave, around eight out of ten employers provided for compassionate leave in 2008, while seven out of ten even provided for wedding leave.... around 50% of companies allowed fathers to take time off their jobs to spend with their new-born babies.

In today's trying economic times, this report is really quite remarkable. What, with people worrying daily about retaining their jobs and the like, work-life balance is more than just a 'nice to have' - it's a necessity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pete I'm just curious about something.

The working culture in Singapore is directly opposite to what u get in Australia. I mean, we talking a more regimented system with very long working hours (OT is always a blessing), with a strong hierarchy and more authoritarian as compared to a more relaxed system u get back in Australia, more casual, informal, decent working hours, beers after work. How did u make the transition and adapt? Did u encounter any difficulties in the beginning stages? As a reader, I'm also curious about the culture shocks you have faced in the beginning while settling into Singapore.