The Minister responsible for the birth rate in Singapore has asked employers to strongly consider offering more flexible job conditions to allow employees to spend time and ability to attend to their elderly parents and young children as more employees return to offices and workplaces.
Minister Indranee Rajah who manages the National Division of People and Skills in the Prime Minister’s Office indicated that even though the constraints on Covid 19 are made much simpler, businesses should consider providing workers a hybrid working arrangement that will allow them to spend time at work and time at home.Speaking yesterday at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs’ (SIIA) Asean and Asia Focus 2021: Partnerships in Economic Recovery and Sustainable Infrastructure forum, she said: “Total fertility rate is at a historic low… so we need more babies. But when you talk to families, a lot of what comes back is work stress, and time off needed for childcare, as well as for elderly parents.
“So whilst employers are very, very happy to have the employees back in the office, I think that going forward, working will be more of a hybrid model, where a good part of the time may be spent in the office.
“But employees would really, really appreciate flexibility to attend to elderly parents and to young children.”Indranee responded as a result of the success of Singapore in vaccinating its citizens and the relaxation of further Covid 19 constraints in its collaboration with government to achieve workforce change.SIIA President Simon Tay, who chaired the dialog with Indranee, asked how it would look in Singapore if remote working became more a common thing in the future.
Mrs Indranee, who is also the second national finance minister, has said that the concentration of the city’s areas will be minimized and decentralized.
She said that the heartland had more places where people could be working, as did the nursery services, and even green spaces to give people fresh air.Ms Indranee talked about Singapore’s investments in infrastructure and healthcare in readiness for an aging population during the forum, which centered on Asean-Asian cooperation and sustainable infrastructure growth.
Ms Indranee reported that the Government is reviewing proposals for a second pilot, citing the Community Care Apartments at Harmony Village @ Bukit Batok, a modern housing model for seniors that was introduced this year and combines senior-friendly architecture features with care facilities.