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    Nov 14, 2014

    Govt-paid leave for dads catching on

    MORE than 13,000 fathers have used government-paid paternity leave in the past year, the National Population and Talent Division said yesterday.

    The number has risen steadily since the benefit was introduced in May last year as part of the enhanced Marriage and Parenthood Package.

    Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu said on Wednesday that the gap between men and women's take-up rates for childcare leave has narrowed in the past five years. It was 10 percentage points last year, down from 13 percentage points in 2009.

    "It shows that the scheme is gaining popularity (and) there's more awareness. Also, men are stepping forward more, perhaps playing a greater role in the care of the children," said Ms Fu. She was speaking to the media after a visit to law firm Rajah and Tann, where she heard about its work-life integration policies.

    These practices - such as flexible additional paternity leave of three days and work-from-home arrangements - have helped to keep its attrition rate at around 1.5 per cent last year, below the national average of 2 per cent, said partner Rebecca Chew.

    "We're thinking of employees and seeing them grow with the firm for the next 10 years. We know that in 10 years, anything can happen...and the workplace must be flexible enough to respond to the challenges of the employee," said Ms Chew.