27 Aug 2019
Working Mum in Asia
As an expat woman, you are probably planning, expecting, or raising kids alongside having a career in a foreign country. Comparing with your home country, the maternity cover and the childcare supports in Asian countries could be pretty different. You may want to know the details.
According to a report conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), only about a quarter of the 26 territories in Asia meet the international standard, with an average duration of 12.7 weeks. Singapore is one of the countries offering more than 14 weeks of maternity leaves while Taiwan offers only 8 weeks. Although the statutory duration of maternity leave varies according to the countries, the statutory rates of leave payment are pretty similar. Women in Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan are entitled to full pay throughout the maternity leave, while women in Hong Kong can get 80% of the monthly salary throughout the leave period. If you are mother-to-be, you should probably figure out the benefits you are eligible to have.
Other than maternity leave and payment, you may concern about the childcare supports once the break is over. Traditionally, Asians tend to have childcare within the family. Due to the social and demographic transformations over the years, the market offers more childcare services now. Take Hong Kong as an example, the government promised to provide about 300 additional places in childcare centers across districts from 2018, trying to improve the provision of childcare in the city. Singapore government also has an ambitious plan to create 200,000 spots for babies in the coming future. Although the childcare services may not be sufficient in some Asian countries at this moment, the governments are working on this issue. If you have the plan to give birth, you may need to do some preparation beforehand.