April 13th, 2016

Good news! Equal maternity leave for unmarried mothers

Photo: The Straits Times

Photo: The Straits Times

12 April brought good news – unmarried mothers will receive 16 weeks of maternity leave, just like married mothers. Their children will be eligible for Child Development Accounts and receive the $3,000 First Step grant announced in the Budget. A new KidStart programme, intended to help vulnerable children, will also address their needs.

It’s great to see the government respond to families’ needs and calls for equality. In this spirit of inclusion, we hope they reconsider the many difficulties still facing single parents. Unwed parents under 35 remain barred from HDB purchases, the Baby Bonus and various tax reliefs. Their children remain “illegitimate” according to the law. Meanwhile, divorced parents struggle to access much-needed rentals and BTOs.

It isn’t right that so many families struggle for a stable place to live in or to make ends meet. So #asinglelove will build on the momentum of the latest announcement to press on for true equality. We continue to offer special programmes to support and empower single parents, and promote public support for equality (have you seen our posters in MRT stations?). In May, we will release key research findings on single parents and housing. See www.asinglelove.sg for updates.

Thank you for being part of this movement for equal rights for all. We look forward to more good news!

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