Maternity leave

Mama Mia: The Maternity Leave Debate

By Ethan Sia and Shi Tianyun

The topic that has been in great discussion since the National Day Rally in late August has been whether the current four-month maternity leave working mothers are entitled to should be extended to six months. The debate has been greatly divided – on one hand, this could encourage more women to have babies to go in line with the country’s procreation policies but on the flipside, the extended leave entitlement might prove detrimental to these same working mothers’ careers. Not surprisingly, many employers are worried about the manpower issues that could arise should the six-month maternity leave be implemented. One other drawback that might result is employer’s inclinations to hire males who can perform at the same capacity rather than females.

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Poll results: Do you agree that female employees should be entitled to 6 months paid maternity leave?

In a bid to boost the nation’s birth rate, the Singapore National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has proposed paid maternity leave of 6 months for all female employees. The proposal however, has received mixed sentiments amongst the general public.

From 30 August to 21 September, 2012, a short poll was conducted by JobsCentral to find out what most Singapore workers think of an extended maternity leave. The poll gathered a total of 288 responses.