4 reasons why you should be a stay at home dad
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of your father? Someone who works really hard to run the family. Someone who is hardly around because he is busy making an extra buck somewhere to ensure his wife and children is financially well-off. But, today in 2018, things are changing and that too for the better.
As per a report by the Ministry of Manpower, the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for women has increased from 54.2% in 2007 to 59.8% in 2017. For women aged between 25-64, the LFPR has increased from 71.6% in 2007 to 80.8% in 2017. This just goes to show that more and more women are spearheading their careers and are doing a good job in the Singapore workforce. There has also been a growing trend of more number of women in leadership roles in Singapore.
Owing to the career-mindedness of many women, and the financial benefits offered by the government many men are opting to become stay-at-home-dads (SAHD). The concept is gaining more popularity these days and this is visible in the numbers too. According to the Straits Times, last year there were 10,200 male Singaporeans and permanent residents who cited “family responsibilities” such as childcare, to family members and housework as the main reason for not working. This is a three-fold rise as compared to 3000 men in 2006.
Tax relief for working mothers
According to IRAS, working mothers are entitled to the Working Mother’s Child Relief if their child is a Singaporean citizen. Depending on the number of children they have, this relief can reduce their income tax substantially. This is a benefit only for working mothers and not fathers. If the father was working, then he would have to pay a huge amount to the Inland Regulatory Authority of Singapore. So, in effect when only the mother’s income is taxable you save more compared to if the father was also working. The father would have to pay 4 times the amount the mother would pay in taxes. Hence, in this case, it makes financial sense for the man to be a stay-at-home-dad.
Subsidies of infant care and childcare
The Singapore government has a lot of initiatives for working mothers to help them support their children. As per the Ministry of Social and Family Development, working mothers whose household income are less than $7500/month and work more than 56 hours in a month are entitled to higher subsidies for infant care and childcare. There are many subsidies under the full day infant care programme and the full day child care program. Women with an income of more than $7,500 are eligible for a monthly subsidy of $300. And, those with infants earning the same amount are eligible for a subsidy of $600. Take a look at the screenshot below to get a detailed understanding of the subsidies available to working mothers.
So, we once again see how it is financially beneficial for the mother to be working as opposed to the father. This is considering the fact that one of the parents will have to stay at home to take care of their infant.
According to a post by Dollar and Sense, Singaporean working mothers are entitled to 16 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave. This is significantly greater than working fathers, who are entitled to just 2 weeks of paternity leave.
Assuming the wife has an annual income of $60,000, the net gain will be 14 weeks of paid leave. This means the family approximately $16,000 more while taking care of their child. Under this arrangement, parents can spend more quality time with their child than if the mother had chosen to be a housewife.
Foreign maid levy relief
Another interesting initiative by the IRAS for Singaporean couples with children is the foreign maid levy relief. This is keeping in mind that some families with stay-at-home-dads will require some domestic assistance and would opt for a foreign domestic help. As per the relief, a female taxpayer is eligible to apply for the foreign maid levy relief. This would substantially reduce the amount she will have to pay in taxes. So, If the couple decides to hire a maid, the working mother can claim the FML relief, which is twice the levy she paid for her maid. The relief you get depends solely on the amount the female taxpayer earns. For example, a woman with an annual income of $60,000 of annual income will get to save $100 in tax savings if she is entitled to a relief of $1,440.
Apart from the financial reasons, you should consider becoming a stay-at-home-dad to see your children grow up. It is a joy to see your child blossom in your presence.
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