Workers’ Party Proposes 24-Week Shared Maternity Leave System For Parents

The Workers’ Party (WP) announced its General Election 2020 Manifesto during a virtual press conference on Sunday (28 Jun), just 3 days ahead of Nomination Day.

Image from Workers’ Party

The Manifesto aims to create an inclusive Singapore which involves equipping young citizens with the tools they need to fulfill their dreams and aspirations.

These are but some notable policies the WP proposed in its Manifesto, which you can read in full here. We go into more detail for some of them after the jump.

1. Free Covid-19 vaccine

With the Covid-19 virus still circulating among our community, many Singaporeans might feel fearful about getting infected when they’re out and about.

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But when a vaccine for the coronavirus is discovered and approved, the WP proposes having it administered for all Singapore residents for free — with priority given to the vulnerable.

This would allow herd immunity to be achieved in our local community and avoid further lockdown measures which may damage our economy.

2. Downsizing class size to 20-25

WP also proposes downsizing school class sizes to between 20 and 25 students.

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WP candidate Gerald Giam said during a virtual press conference that smaller class sizes should not be exclusive to Gifted Education Programme (GEP) and Integrated Programmes, and should be rolled out for other students as well, in particular, the “weaker” ones.

According to WP, the average class size for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries are between 21 and 24 students.

The average class sizes in Singapore, however, are significantly larger and are between 29 and 34 students.

3. 24-week shared maternity leave

To improve children’s psychological well-being and to allow fathers to take on greater roles in looking after their babies, the WP proposes a 24-week government-paid leave system.

Under this system, the duration of leave – which amounts to roughly 6 months – will be shared between mother and father.

Of the 24 weeks of leave, the WP proposes granting a minimum of 12 and 4 weeks respectively to the mother and father.

The new system will replace the current maternity and paternity leave system, which gives mothers and fathers up to 16 and 2 weeks of leave respectively when they have a child.

4. Lowering voting age to 18

The WP also proposed lowering the voting age to 18, down from 21 currently.

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In WP’s view, this would allow youths to be involved in public life “meaningfully” from a younger age while ensuring that the voices of the youth are heard.

WP also brought up the point that since Singapore’s conscription system requires men aged 18 and above to protect their country, they ought to also be given the right to decide on the direction that the country is moving in at the same age.

Do you agree with Workers’ Party Manifesto policies?

As polling day draws nearer, more political parties contesting for the election are finally unveiling their candidates and manifestos.

What are your thoughts on Workers’ Party’s choice of candidates as well as the policies they’re proposing? Share them in the comments below.

Featured image adapted from MOE’s Facebook