There is good news as fathers of newborns will now be legally entitled to a second week of government-paid paternity leave from January next year while unwed mothers will also finally see full 16-weeks of maternity leave.
Singaporean Parliament made amendments in the Child Development Co-Savings Act. It widened use of shared parental leave, letting fathers take up to four weeks — up from one — out of the 16 weeks of maternity leave given to their spouses.
From January, unwed mothers will also get the full 16 weeks of maternity leave, up from the current eight. Adoption leave will also be increased from four to 12 weeks, starting July.
Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said "The combined enhancements to paternity leave and shared parental leave mean a father can take a maximum of eight weeks' leave in his baby's first year - two weeks of paid paternity leave, four weeks of paid shared parental leave if his wife so elects to share, six days of paid childcare leave and one week of unpaid infant care leave.”
"These leaves support fathers in experiencing the joys and challenges of parenthood with their wives," he added.
He urged parents to take advantage of the leave saying "Mothers usually are there but fathers need to be there as well. This is something we can encourage and support, but ultimately the individual parents must make those choices."