While it is being encouraged by the government to state that work from home is default, there are signs that it is contradicting itself because our economy cannot handle this. It means less human traffic in shopping centres and places where they require high flow of human traffic to generate profits.
Now, if the education sector were to go online when required, what are the options available for parents with kids who need some form of supervision or help during the online lessons? Schools with student care centres are able to provide the means but what if the number of children who require temporary supervision during the HBL days were to be increased beyond the capabilities of the student care centre? There are SMMs in place and if the student care centres are unable to take in beyond a certain number of students who temporarily require assistance because the parents are unable to accompany the children during the HBL days due to the nature of the job scope, what happens?
HBL will be here to stay and what can parents who are working in job scopes that require them to be at the workplace physically? The parents can take leaves for the HBL days but for how many? There is a limit to the number of annual leaves and childcare leaves that we have here.
My company doesn’t provide self care leaves. It provides me with the CCL, AL, ML, Maternity Leaves, Parent Care leave (capped at 2 days per calendar year), and Hospitalisation leaves. It’s not exhaustive since I can’t remember them all. As HBL is a new practice that began only in 2020, I had been take leaves just to go through HBL.
I am not able to work from home due to the nature of my job. If I were to take time off for my children’s HBL, what are my options? The available types of leaves that I can take and considering that I am working in the sector where I support others instead of my own children, it is ironic.
Can we have additional leave types available such as the HBL leaves? HBL may take up to 3 weeks or more and then what? When I run out of AL for semester 1, when semester 2 comes, what do I do? I take No Pay Leave? I might as well just quit my current job and find another that is more family friendly, right? It isn’t easy to find any family friend jobs these days. Even with the increasing efforts, companies in Singapore are still stuck in the industrial era of requiring face to face attendance. Singapore is not there yet.
Only a small number of companies are accepting that remote work is now essential when it comes to business continuity. Either grant me more leave types or change the way the job scope has to be done. We are not machines that are supposed to be manufacturing items 8 hours daily.