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Singapore's maternity leave falls short for many moms: report

Five in 10 working moms want extended leave policies.

More than half of working mothers in Singapore seek extended leave policies as they find it increasingly difficult to prioritise their well-being while juggling work and home demands, Milieu Insight revealed.

Currently, Singapore caps paid maternity leave at 16 weeks.

According to Milieu Insight, 64% of working moms have difficulties finding time for work and family commitments, whilst 42% are struggling to take care of themselves.

Some also complained of job discrimination and unequal pay (21%), whilst others cited a lack of supportive workplace policies (24%).

Working mothers often feel guilty prioritising work responsibilities (37%), and some struggle to find reliable childcare options (14%).

Apart from extended leaves, working mothers (75%) also believe that remote work and flexible arrangements would enhance their work-life balance and allow for career growth.

In December, Singapore will implement flexi-work arrangement guidelines, including a 4-day workweek option.

Milieu Insight said the "new approach offers a progressive approach towards flexibility at work empowering mothers to take more control over their schedules."

Within Southeast Asia, Singapore had the highest percentage of working mothers (40%) feeling that motherhood negatively impacted their careers.

"This trend may correlate to the fact that 66% of working mothers in the region shoulder significant household responsibilities, including childcare, cleaning, and cooking," the report stated.

Compared to Indonesia (43%), however, Singapore has a relatively lower percentage of women solely responsible for household maintenance (19%).

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