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Singapore's employers introduce more work-life balance initiatives

More employers in Singapore are offering flexible work arrangements (FWA) and leave benefits to help employees manage their personal and family commitments, despite not being required to by law, the government has said. 23 Nov 2016

Firms that do implement these initiatives tend to have lower staff turnover, the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in its annual Conditions of Employment report.

The proportion of firms that allowed unplanned time off or teleworking for employees rose from 70% in 2015 to 77% in 2016, MOM said. These firms employ 82% of all employees, up from 76% in 2015.

The proportion of employees working in firms which offered at least one formal FWA also rose, from 65% in 2015 to 67% in 2016.

Common forms of flexible work arrangements include unplanned time off, available to 75% of workers, and allowing staff to work part time or to report earlier or later for work.

The share of full time employees who had at least 15 days of paid annual leave rose from 42% in 2014 to 45% in 2016.

"More employers were also found to offer leave benefits that are not mandated by law to help their employees cope with personal and family commitments. Compassionate leave was allowed by 92% of employers, marriage leave by 74%, and study / examination leave by 40%," MOM said.

This appears to pay off in terms of staff retention, MOM said.

"Based on firm level data, resignation rates were lower among firms that offer a larger number of formal FWAs to their employees, that have a higher proportion of full time employees on a five day work week, and have a higher proportion of full-time employees with longer annual leave entitlement," it said.

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