Work from home created new opportunities for women caregivers, people with disabilities: President Halimah

SINGAPORE – The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the workplace, offering office-based workers huge opportunities but also requiring changes in labour policies to sustain them, said President Halimah Yacob.

With work-from-home arrangements being normalised, women will have more choices and will not have to decide to either work or stay home due to caregiving responsibilities, she said in her May Day message on Thursday (Apr 29).

“Workers with disabilities, too, need no longer fear being an exception to the rest of the workforce,” she added.

Noting that last year’s Labour Day was a sombre one with the tightened Covid-19 measures, Madam Halimah said Singapore’s vaccination programme is going smoothly.

The country also notched its first positive economic growth in the first quarter of the year, a respite after three consecutive quarters of negative growth.

She said: “Our past reserves enabled us to quickly support companies and workers, thus ameliorating the grave consequences that could have befallen us from a crisis of this proportion.”

Madam Halimah thanked people here for working tirelessly to keep Singapore going during the pandemic, as well as adapting and staying agile in learning new skills and adjusting to new work arrangements.

She added: “Your trust in and support for the Government’s measures were key to our ability to overcome this crisis.”

It has not been an easy journey for Singapore, Madam Halimah pointed out, and the road ahead remains uncertain.

“But I am also confident that with our collective resolve, resourcefulness and resilience, we will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

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