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    Feb 14, 2014

    Push for offices where a mum can thrive

    FROM offering lactation rooms to granting family leave, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is asking companies to be more family-friendly and improve work-life balance.

    It has introduced a four-level rating system for companies to ascertain how family-friendly they are, from basic to comprehensive.

    Only 15 per cent of 1,500 unionised companies here offer "comprehensive" family-friendly practices - the top level - with career progression for flexi-workers and provision of facilities like lactation rooms. The labour movement aims to get 50 per cent on board by next year, and encourage non-unionised companies as well.

    The guidelines were prompted by a poll by NTUC U Family of 5,255 union members in November. While 70 per cent are happy with the amount of time spent with their families, half said their employers are not progressive in implementing family-friendly measures.

    Some companies have realised this is necessary in the current labour crunch.

    "We faced challenges in getting local employees to come on board and realised we have to be more innovative and flexible," said Mr Than Yoke Fei, group head of human resources at Auric Pacific Group.

    NTUC also called for enhancements to be made to tripartite guidelines on family-friendly workplace practices, such as extending them to working caregivers with dependants who are not young children.