updated 17 Jun 2012, 19:29
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Striking a balance between work and life
by Annabelle Liang

WOMEN should spend “couch time” – talking and spending time alone with their spouses – every day.

This is one of the tips given to women on juggling the demands of work and home in a new one-hour talk called Live@Work.

And, no, the men have not been left out. They will learn how to support their working spouse and family members.

The first 50 companies to apply for the talk will get it free. Subsequently, each session costs $150. The new initiative, launched by the National Trades Union Congress Women’s Development Secretariat (NTUC WDS) yesterday, is among NTUC’s measures to retain women in the workforce.

A Manpower Ministry survey in June last year showed that female participation in the labour force here stands at 54 per cent, lagging behind countries like Sweden and Norway, with rates of about 80 per cent.

The WDS has matched more women to jobs – from 2,681 jobs in all in 2007 and 2008, to 2,580 jobs last year.

This year, it aims to achieve 3,000 job placements. NTUC deputy secretary-general Halimah Yacob said: “If we want to boost our overall employment rate, we cannot focus on getting women back to work alone after they have dropped out, but we must help to prevent them from dropping out.”

Coca-Cola Singapore administrative officer Mary Loh, 41, one of 80 participants in the talk’s first run last week, found the session useful as it reminded her to take care of her health and helped her cope with stress and busy schedules.

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