A majority of Singaporean employees (70%) feel their employers are still not supportive of flexible working.
An additional 60% believe their colleagues look down upon flexible working arrangements, Channel News Asia reported.
Cham Hui Fong, director of the industrial relations department at NTUC, said this indicates employers in the country are only paying lip service to flexible working arrangements, and believes legislation “would be the way to go”.
“But at this point in time, we are working with the companies to see how we can make it more accessible for the employees … make it more convenient for the employees to ask [for flexible work arrangements],” Cham said.
She added the union is “looking at something similar to the re-employment law” to encourage more employers to be open to flexible working arrangements.
Currently, NTUC requires its members to include flexible working arrangements into its contracts before the agreement is reviewed. Only 10 unionised companies have agreed to the terms so far, out of the 1,500 unionised companies in Singapore.
However, the Singapore National Employers Federation said legislating the right for employers to apply for flexible working arrangements will create friction and stress in the office.
“It would be better to focus on helping employers implement flexi-work and mothers secure suitable jobs when they re-enter the workforce,” it said.