Public servants to get 4 more weeks of unpaid infant-care leave

The pilot scheme will guarantee parents of newborns working in the public sector a total of six months’ infant-care leave. (Photo: Getty Images)

Parents working in the public sector will get four more weeks of infant-care leave from July 2017, Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Josephine Teo said on Thursday (2 March).

The additional leave will be unpaid and has to be taken within the child’s first year, Teo said in Parliament during the Committee of Supply debate.

The three-year pilot scheme provides for an additional four weeks of unpaid infant-care leave per parent for public servants and their spouses. Such couples would therefore be guaranteed up to 26 weeks of parental leave in total, up from 22 weeks.

Teo said: “This means that as long as one parent is working in the public service, the couple can have up to 26 weeks of leave, or six months, between them.”

Under current schemes, working parents of newborns can have 20 weeks of paid leave in total, and two weeks of unpaid leave. Teo said the additional leave would help to provide parents with more ease of mind when they return to work. Even though infant-care centres can take in babies from two months old, most parents feel more confident when their children are six months old, she said.