Paternity leave is almost always unpaid in Singapore. Fathers usually take paid leaves to take care of their children or help the family. However, according to a survey by McKinsey, paternity leave actually offers great benefits to their families, community, and your company.
For example, paternity leave strengthens relationships. When dads take time off, it indicates a deeper commitment to family life, which relieves the stress on the mother and enhances parent-child bonding.
Plus, dads who spend time with their children experience a boost in happiness and fulfilment that may also apply to the workplace.
In one 2018 research study, 60% of men described childcare hours as "particularly significant," almost double the number who considered paid work that way. Many new fathers also develop a new appreciation for their employers at the same time.
If you're considering offering parental leave to your employees, this article outlines the 5 pieces of advice from new fathers to employers like you, FAQs, and 5 case studies.
Fathers do not experience the same physical challenges as birth mothers (assuming that some parents have their children via adoption, surrogacy, and so on), but spending time at home to bond with their child and spouse is important.
Providing greater flexibility in the leave schedule or increasing financial assistance would assist new dads to take leave.
It is critical to create a positive atmosphere where paternity leave is normalised, and men are free to discuss their good experiences. Fathers felt that even when there was a company policy in place, the culture of the organisation may not be as welcoming to men taking parental leave.
One way to encourage your employees to take parental leave is leading by example. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did exactly that. He openly announced his plan to take parental leave to spend time with his newborn second daughter.
Even though most dads desire additional time with their children, many of them expressed a career setback as an issue. Some even described that taking paternity leave has indirectly harmed their career progression (though they still believe it was right). Most were dissatisfied with the lack of transparency surrounding how parental leave would impact their career.
Creating an atmosphere in which taking leave does not impede career advancement is ideal. At the very least, providing more information on how parental leave affects a new dad's career and promotion would be a valuable starting line.
Dads mentioned how difficult it was to return to work, largely owing to a lack of role models.
Many companies lack the structured assistance required to help new dads transition back into the workforce after parental leave, especially after being away for one full month. Policies and processes dedicated to reintegrating dads would help. You could even use the same policies that already exist for moms.
Related read: Document your paternity leave rules in your employee handbook? Find out how to craft a complete employee handbook here. And download our template for free.
In Singapore: From 1 January 2017, eligible working dads, including those who are self-employed, are entitled to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave funded by the Government.
In Malaysia: It's not a requirement to offer paternity leave in Malaysia. So, it's the companies that set the eligibility rules and length of leave. That said, most private sectors provide 1-3 days of paternity leave and public sectors provide 7-14 days for dads.
In Singapore: For adoptive dads who meet the following requirements are also entitled to GPPL for all births.
In Malaysia: There is no law stating adoptive dads eligibility for paternity leave. It's up to the company to decide.
In Singapore: 2 weeks of paternity leave is funded by the government under the Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL) scheme. Employers need to submit claims to the government. Find out how here.
In Singapore: The Government doesn't encourage this. Employers who deny paternity leave requests may be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to 6 months.
In Malaysia: Since there are no laws around paternity leave, it's your decision to grant or refuse your employees' parental leave requests. However, we strongly recommend giving dads a chance to bond with their children and spouse.
What they do: Johnson & Johnson is a multinational maker of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods.
Number of employees: 127,000
What they offer: Dads receive 8 weeks of paid parental leave and can use an additional optional week for personal time (total of nine weeks).
What they do: Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest apparel companies, specializing in jeanswear.
Number of employees: 12,500
What they offer: All salaried and hourly U.S. employees with benefits, are eligible for up to 8 weeks of paid time off when welcoming a new addition through birth, adoption or foster care.
What they do: Fannie Mae provides financial products and services that increase the availability and affordability of housing for low-, moderate- and middle-income families.
Number of employees: 7,000
What they offer: New dads at Fannie Mae get 4 weeks of parental leave.
What they do: Patagonia is an apparel company that specializes in sustainable outdoor clothing.
Number of employees: 2,000
What they offer: New dads at Patagonia receive 12 weeks of paid parental leave.
What they do: Netflix is a multinational media company specializing in streaming video on demand and DVD rental by mail.
Number of employees: 2,750
What they offer: Salaried employees on the streaming-video side of the business are offered up to 12 months of paid parental leave.