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Singaporean but didn't even get 3 months' maternity leave...

This is a discussion on Singaporean but didn't even get 3 months' maternity leave... within the Single Parents Support Group forum, part of the MummySG Special Group category; Hi mummies, I am a Singaporean citizen by birth and descent and so is my baby. However, I am not ...

  1. #1
    Female Attendant
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Rep Power

    Singaporean but didn't even get 3 months' maternity leave...

    Hi mummies,

    I am a Singaporean citizen by birth and descent and so is my baby. However, I am not yet married to the baby’s father as my separation and divorce will take at least another year to be finalised. Thus, ironically, I am forced to become a ‘single’ mother even though my partner and I are taking the responsibility of raising our child together and we intend to get married in the future. In fact, when I became pregnant, I knew the timing was less than ideal as my baby will not qualify for any childcare subsidy that the government grants to other Singaporean couples, including the 4 months’ paid leave crucial to the welfare and development of a newborn baby (super sianz). However, I went ahead with the pregnancy instead of aborting this baby and wait for one to two years to have another.

    Nonetheless, I was still taken aback to learn that unlike popular belief, I will not even receive 3 months’ maternity leave, but only 2 months just like PRs and foreign workers. Despite my appeals for compassion (it's not my choice not to get married, but ironically, I am cornered by all the laws because Spore marital law imposes a 3-year separation), my company, a MNC, declined to grant me a 3rd month paid maternity leave, asking me to use my 2013 annual leave (OMG, then if I need to go on leave next year then how?) or go on unpaid leave (orz) instead.

    Ultimately, the HR manager didn't give a clear rationale (company budget? my work performance?) She even gave replies saying that it's unfair to give me the 3rd month as they didn't give the foreigner/PR mothers the 3rd month (I thought it was circular reasoning). The HR manager C__ Ong (a mother herself) also defended her decision that the “all or none” stance was made in accordance with the MOM’s guidelines, as in her latest reply below:

    “Under our maternity leave policy, the period of maternity benefits provided by our Company is either 8 or 16 weeks, which is in accordance with the provision in the Employment Act and the Child Development Co-Savings Act, and these apply to all female staff without prejudice.

    The fact that the government has left the decision of granting additional maternity leave beyond 8 weeks to companies suggests that companies have the discretion of making such decisions, policies or practices based on the exigency of service.

    As a MNC, the Company does not practice discrimination amongst our staff regardless of nationality or personal situations relating to maternity. And our policies and practices are therefore not based on precedent cases. Other young mothers in the Company who have not fulfilled the criteria for the 16-weeks maternity leave period have had used annual leave to take care of their child.”

    +___+" Is this what they call the Policy of Equal Misery for All?

    It's quite short-sighted if the company just looks at immediate costs and not award just one month's paid leave (I know I am not entitled to the 4 full months). Ultimately, if the HR policy is more pro-family, the employees are happier and feel appreciated, they will be more loyal and motivated, right? And mind you, this is a MNC listed on the stock exchange, not some "gan siap" local company (although the HR manager has a reputation of being very stingy, sabotaging staff's pay increments even if the money is not from her own pocket). Maybe her idea of HR policy is just to show she is very good at cost-cutting because she doesnt know how to manage people and retain talent otherwise?

    On a macro level, I am deeply saddened that my choice to carry my pregnancy to full term has deprived my baby of equal access to benefits simply because of a legal technicality. The maternity leave is mainly for my baby; contrary to popular belief, taking care of a young baby is actually more tiring than working in the office. It is not like I am taking a holiday. But it is necessary for bonding and giving the baby the best care. I am not even fighting for every single thing like 4 months, Baby Bonus, subsidized childcare, etc. ... just 1 more month with my little precious ... it's heart-wrenching when I think that he is only 2 months when I have to leave him and return to work full-time...

    Single mothers, no matter by choice or by circumstances, all need to pay taxes like other married mothers. Shouldn’t the inequality be narrowed so the former and their young children receive benefits when they are most vulnerable? Can’t government policies be re-worded or even reviewed to ensure that eligibility can be made on a case-by-case basis and that companies cannot exploit loopholes in the law to avoid giving out maternity benefits?

    What else can I do?

  2. #2
    Female Attendant
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    oxley road
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    Re: Singaporean but didn't even get 3 months' maternity leave...

    Quite your job and work for a better boss.

  3. #3
    Pure Consort Ting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Re: Singaporean but didn't even get 3 months' maternity leave...

    i feel that its the mom R&R is the prob.. not that im defending your coy.. cos i was also a single mum but i feel that if they give you the 3rd month, then they have to fork out the $$$ themselves. where by the coy may not be able to justify this $$ when the auditors or what start questioning. if your boss gv you the 3rd month out of good will, other employees will also feel its unfair n everyone else might also request for it..
    even now that im married, (not to my ex), MOM rules still state that i cant get 6days childcare leave cos im not married to the bio father of my child.. BUT, my hub who is the stepfather can get 6days of CHL.. which i find it very ridiculous as well?!?
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  4. #4
    Worthy Lady
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Rep Power

    Re: Singaporean but didn't even get 3 months' maternity leave...

    Unfortunately there's nothing else you can do. I was in a similar position and even called MOM for assistance, but they said it is up to the discretion of the company how flexible and compassionate they want to be towards their employees.

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