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Singapore—Mind the Gap—Employer Perspectives

by Shanyuan Foo

September 2009—Singapore—Mind the Gap—Employer Perspective looks into the practices and approaches of the Singaporeas employers. In Singapore, a key concern is to encourage employers to adopt workplace flexibility and family-friendly benefits and practices. As the fertility rate continues to decline below the numbers needed to maintain the current population size, policies that encourage people to have more children are vital to the future of the nation. Due to the aging population, the state is also encouraging employers to hire older workers. This paper explores how Singapore employers and the state are approaching some of these issues. Among the findings are:

  • 67% of private sector companies increased their workers wages in 2007; average increase was 5.9%.
  • 72% of private sector employers offered structured training for employees in 2005.
  • 9.4% of employers offered flexible working arrangements in 2008, including part-time, staggered hours, flextime, teleworking, and home-working.
  • Only 1.5% of private sector employers offered childcare benefits, as of 2003, and only 4.5% offered paid leave to employees for elderly dependent care.

As Singapore’s population ages and shrinks, issues around workplace flexibility and family-friendly leave may be of increasing importance to employees, as well as holding importance for the Singaporean economy.

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