13 February 2014: NTUC U Family introduces family-friendly workplace criteria

Published on 13 February 2014

NTUC’s Family Development Unit, U Family, conducted a Happiness Poll to find out the state of happiness of working Singaporeans last November. Some 5,255 U Family members were polled, and the results shed some insights into the contributing factors to one’s happiness level at their workplace.

Profiles of Respondents:

  • 8 in 10 work full-time
  • 8 in 10 married
  • 2 in 3 females
  • 6 in 10 have 2 or more children
  • 8 in 10 aged below 556 in 10 earns between $2,000 & $6,000

When asked about overall happiness, a large majority - 87% of the respondents indicated they were happy, with 6 in 10 respondents indicating that they were most happy with their family life. 9 in 10 indicated that marriage and parenthood contributed significantly to one’s happiness (2012: 62% happier after marriage, 77% happier after becoming parents).

In terms of job and workplace satisfaction, 52.8% of 4669 working respondents indicated that they were motivated in their current job, are happy and are likely to stay on in their job. From the poll results, it is found that positive relationships at the workplace play a key role in one’s job and workplace satisfaction. When asked on reasons for their happiness at their workplace, motivation at work and for staying on in their job, respondents picked relationship with co-workers and relationship with supervisor as the key reasons.


6 in 10 are happy with their career prospect and 7 in 10 are happy with their job responsibilities. When asked about what will attract them to a new workplace, it is discovered that working mums and dads have different workplace priorities.

While salary remained as the top pulling factor to both parents, working mums would prefer access to flexible work arrangement (44.3%), family friendly workplace (40.0%) culture and access to family leave scheme (38.2%) while working dads preferred workplace with career progression (43.8%), family friendly workplace culture (33.7%) and job security (33.5%).

Labour Movement introduces Family-Friendly Workplace Criteria

From the key findings, the Labour Movement is even more convinced that more work needs to be done to support working families in the area of work-life harmony, and helping them cope with responsibilities both at work and at home. With that, the Labour Movement introduces a set of Family-friendly Workplace Criteria which is in line with key findings from recent polls as well as feedback gathered from interactions with members.

“A family-friendly workplace with flexible work arrangements should not be viewed as a mummy’s workplace privilege. It is a working families’ need. The Labour Movement is working with progressive employers to create an environment where working parents can prioritise the responsibilities to be shared. After all, both working fathers and working mothers want to put their best at work and at home,” said Ms Toh Hwee Tin, Director of NTUC U Family.

The set of Family-Friendly Workplace criteria is to be used a yardstick for companies to have a sensing of where they are at in terms of family-friendly workplace practices. Progressive companies should work towards having the listed criteria in place to help workers with care-giving responsibilities, better manage responsibilities both at home and at work. This will also go a long way in improving workplace productivity. The set of Family-Friendly Workplace criteria as below:

The set of criteria is also in line with U Family’s key focus for the year. The Family Development Unit will continue to work with the unionised companies to include flexible work arrangements and flexible leave schemes as part of the Collective Agreement. Through its Project Liquid Gold, U Family will also be working closely with various partners to put in place more family support facilities like lactation rooms at office premises.

Enhancement to Tripartite Guidelines on Family-Friendly Workplace Practices

At the same time, the Labour Movement would also like to call for an enhancement to the Tripartite Guidelines on Family-Friendly Workplace Practices, suggestions include:

  • To be more inclusive, the guidelines should be expanded to include working caregivers with dependents other than young children.
  • Include guidelines for provision of flexible family-care leave to cater to the working caregivers, and for lactation support at workplaces for breastfeeding mothers who had returned to work.
  • Provide a more comprehensive guideline on the options of flexible work arrangements including how to implement and manage employees on such arrangements.

“We strongly call upon the tripartite partners to look at enhancing the tripartitie guidelines on family-friendly workplace practices. This would help greatly in reflecting the growing importance of such practices now and give companies an indication of the baseline to start with,” concluded Ms Toh Hwee Tin.

Tags: NTUC,  U Family,  Family-Friendly,  Workplace,  Flexible leave,  Working families,  Work-life harmony

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