As a professional matchmaker and a mother of two, I am extremely concerned about the decline in births in Singapore.
Singles are getting married later and this affects their fertility. The government has given a slew of goodies to encourage dating, marriage and parenthood. It is well appreciated but often seen as not enough. In Japan, there was a slight reversal of the decline in birth trend. The reason was because corporates realised that it was getting more difficult to hire, and that a decline in births would actually come back to haunt them later. Hence, corporates are now embarking on more work-life balance policies for their employees.
We need to do the same in Singapore. As bosses, managers or business owners – how can we have in place policies, formal or informal, to help singles to have time to go on dates? Many singles have shared with me that they are the ones expected to work overtime because their married colleagues have to rush off to pick up their children from childcare,etc. How can we help married employees leave work on time so that they have time for romance? In addition to what the government has provided in terms of childcare leave, what else can we offer our employees so that they are better able to juggle between family and work, say, through flexi-work arrangements?
Like the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a kid. Other than government policies, as bosses, we can do our part to help reverse the declining birth trend.