Singapore

MPs call for more help for caregivers, working mums

MORE HELP WANTED FOR WORKING MUMS, FAMILIES

Four MPs yesterday called for more help for caregivers, working mums and families.

They suggested ways to lend them a hand in juggling their duties at home and in the office so that they do not lag behind.

Nominated MP K. Thanaletchimi suggested giving workers, particularly women, the right to ask for flexible work arrangements if efforts to coax bosses to do so voluntarily fail.

Identifying health and social services as having one of the largest gender pay gaps, Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh, a sociologist, called for this to change "because it will affect our future senior women and their retirement security".

He said median monthly income gap between men and women here has remained around 18 per cent to 19 per cent between 2006 and 2016.

Others, such as Mr Desmond Choo (Tampines GRC), asked if eldercare or family care leave could be made mandatory to help "double-sandwiched" young parents, who take care of their children and aged parents.

Mr Darryl David (Ang Mo Kio GRC) wants greater flexibility in the proximity housing grant enhancement.

He suggested that the $10,000 subsidy for singles buying resale flats to live near their parents could be based on a proportion of the flat's price instead of a fixed sum, subject to a minimum base and maximum ceiling.

REVIEW EMPLOYERS' CPF CONTRIBUTIONS

Labour MP Zainal Sapari called for a review of employers' Central Provident Fund contributions for older workers, given that the current rates were set 30 years ago in 1988.

He suggested having one universal rate until workers reach 65 years, to help low-wage workers, especially older ones, save for retirement.

Currently, the employer's contribution rate decreases progressively after the worker reaches 55.

Mr Zainal also suggested making the annual wage supplement - or 13th month bonus - mandatory for all workers.

SAFETY, HEALTH LAPSES IN FOOD DELIVERY FIRMS

Nearly nine in 10 food delivery and courier services companies that the Manpower Ministry inspected last year had safety and health issues.

The ministry inspected 50 such companies last year and issued 71 notices to 44 errant companies for infringing workplace safety and health regulations, Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan told Parliament yesterday.

More than seven in 10 of the infringements found had to do with the lack of or inadequate risk assessment, which means the companies did not identify hazards that could affect the safety and health of their staff, he said. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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