On 10 November 2016, the Singapore Parliament passed changes to the Child Development Co-savings Act (Cap. 38A) (CDCA). As a result of these changes, from 1 January 2017 onwards:
- new fathers will get 2 weeks of statutory paternity leave paid for by the Singapore Government;
- unwed mothers will get 16 weeks of statutory maternity leave;
- mothers would also have the option of sharing up to 4 weeks of statutory maternity leave (up from 1 currently) with their husbands starting in July 2017; and
- mothers with adopted children will also get an additional 3 weeks of statutory adoption leave (12 weeks in total) starting July 2017.
These changes were first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally in August 2015.
These amendments are in line with the Singapore government’s objective to promote a family friendly workplace and boost Singapore’s birth rate. As such employers must take note of the revised laws and also be mindful of the various reimbursements from the Singapore government available to offset the costs arising from granting its employees such pro-family leaves of absence.