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Employers more generous in providing leave benefits, flexibility: MOM

Monday, November 21, 2016 - 11:25

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More employers are providing various leave benefits and flexible work arrangements to help employees cope with personal and family commitments, even though it is not stipulated by law, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Monday.

MORE employers are providing various leave benefits and flexible work arrangements to help employees cope with personal and family commitments, even though it is not stipulated by law, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Monday.

According to the ministry's "Conditions of Employment 2016" report, 92 per cent of employers were more generous in providing compassionate leave; 74 per cent marriage leave and 40 per cent study or examination leave.

The survey, which covered 3,800 establishments in the private and public sector, showed that in 2016, 77 per cent of establishments provided unplanned time-off or ad-hoc teleworking for their staff to attend to personal matters, up from 70 per cent in 2015. The proportion of employees working in establishments with ad-hoc flexible work arrangements also increased to 82 per cent in 2016, from 76 per cent in 2015.

The proportion of full-time employees on a five-day work-week rose in 2016 to 48 per cent, from 43 per cent a decade ago. This was due to a higher incidence of management and executives on five- day work-week. However, rank-and-file employees were mostly on longer work-week and shift work.

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Part-time work remained the most prevalent formal flexible work arrangements, at 35 per cent; followed by flexi-time or staggered hours at 23 per cent.

"Firms that implement work-life initiatives tend to have lower employee turnover,'' MOM said.

Based on firm-level data, resignation rates were lower among firms that:

(i) offer a larger number of formal flexible work arrangements.

(ii)have a higher proportion of full-time employees on a 5-day work-week, and

(iii) have a higher proportion of full-time employees with longer annual leave entitlement.

As for absenteeism due to illness, this has been stable over the years, although it rose slightly in 2015. In 2015, 60 per cent took outpatient sick leave, each averaging about 4.8 days of sick leave per absentee, slightly higher than 2013.

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