SINGAPORE - Media
OutReach - 4 September 2020 - Strong
family bonding is becoming even more pertinent amidst the challenges posed by
the COVID-19 season. To celebrate the importance of spending quality family
time over a meal and building stronger family ties, Eat With Your Family Day
(EWYFD) is encouraging more companies to allow their employees to leave work early
at least four times a year so that they can enjoy a meal together with their
Underpinned by multiple
research studies that show how connecting as a family over a meal can improve
the physical and mental health of family members, EWYFD was launched in 2013 by
the Centre for Fathering to encourage organisations to arrange for employees to
leave work at 5pm so that they can eat with their families. The initiative also
aims to remind parents to put aside time to eat with their children regularly.
Held on the last Friday
of each school term, the dates for EWYFD 2020 are 13 March, 17 July, 4
September and 20 November. It is brought
to you by MUMS for Life, DADs for Life and Centre for Fathering, in support of Made
shown that children who eat with their parents thrive emotionally, socially and
academically. It is therefore important for parents to put aside time daily,
away from work and devices, to connect with their children during meals," said Mr
Bryan Tan, CEO of DADs for Life and Centre for Fathering.
"Employers play a critical role in supporting families, as better work-life
integration leads to stronger productivity, higher staff commitment and greater
job satisfaction. As such, it is important for companies to embrace EWYFD to
nurture a family-friendly work culture. Even with employees working at home due
to COVID-19, employers can encourage them to consciously stop work early to
have a meal with their families."
Family-Friendly Work Culture
Companies such as
City Developments Ltd (CDL), Etiqa
Insurance Pte Ltd and Eu Yan Sang International Ltd have adopted EWYFD with the
intent of creating a family-friendly work culture and promoting greater
"As a family-friendly company, CDL
recognises that employees can be more productive and effective at work when
they are able to harmonise family and work responsibilities. Over the years, we
implemented a series of other initiatives and schemes to foster a
family-friendly work culture. EWYFD has become an integral part of our
family-friendly initiatives. Since 2012, we have also increased the frequency
of this initiative to four times a year to encourage employees to leave work
earlier to have dinner with their family," said Mr Steven Tan, Chief Human Resource Officer, City Developments
"Here at Etiqa, we believe that
family support is instrumental in reducing work stress and facilitating
productivity. With this in mind, our company practices EF2F -- Early Friday 2nd
Friday -- to allow staff to return home early the second Friday of each month
for dinner with their family. This arrangement boosts staff moral while
creating a culture of good work-life balance in the company," said Mr Collin
Sta Maria, Head of Human Capital, Etiqa Insurance Pte Ltd.
"At Eu Yan Sang, we not
only believe our people are a key contributor to our success, but also that
their families inspire them to be the best they can be. EWYFD allows us to
recognise both our staff and their families. We started this in 2018, as one of
many family-friendly programs that we offer, including staggered working hours
and a lactation room, among others. These supportive practices provide our
staff greater work-life balance and strengthen Eu Yan Sang's ability to attract
and retain talent, as well as improve employee engagement and morale," said Mr
Aaron Boey, Group Chief Executive Officer, Eu Yan Sang International Ltd.
appreciation of this initiative, Ms Loh Ferng Lyng, Manager, CDL, said, "With
my husband and I working full-time, we seldom get to have family dinners as our
kids usually have their meals by 6pm. I really appreciate that CDL grants us an
early release of 1.5 hours every quarter on the last Friday of the school term.
This allows our family to get together and have a good meal and brings us
closer as a unit. It has become such a joy that my children look forward to
EWYFD and will constantly remind us when the date draws near!"
EWYFD programmes to enhance family bonding
To support families who may
be facing challenging times during the COVID-19 season, the organisers of EWYFD
are working with over 40 organisations to plan a special programme for their employees.
The 150 families nominated by their organisations will be receiving a family meal
delivered to their homes on Friday, 4 September 2020. These families can also
participate in a photo contest and movie trivia to win prizes and goodie bags.
In addition, EWYFD 2020
is also offering:
- Special deals from merchants islandwide which provide
families with more food, retail and fun options for family outings;
- Complimentary fathering and parenting workshops conducted
by the Centre for Fathering;
- A special movie screening of "Happy Feet" on 4
September 2020 at 6.20pm on Mediacorp Channel 5.
For more information, go to fathers.com.sg/ewyfd.
About Centre for Fathering, DADs for Life and MUMs for Life
Centre for Fathering (CFF) is a non-profit organisation founded in
2000 to promote active and involved fathering and address issues caused by
fatherlessness in Singapore. The organisation aims to turn the hearts of
children towards their fathers by empowering more fathers to be better role
models and an enduring inspiration to their children.
Since 2015, CFF has been the driving force behind Singapore's
nation-wide fathering movement - DADs for Life which seeks to inspire and
mobilise fathers to become more involved with and a good influence to their
children... for life. Under the DADs for Life umbrella are initiatives such as
DADs@School, Back to School with DAD, Eat With Your Family Day and Celebrating
Fathers -- to encourage fathers to spend time with their families and create a
culture that promotes active fathering.
MUMs for Life is a ground-up movement to celebrate a mum's
unique identity as a woman, daughter, wife & mother. Our key partner is DADs
for Life because we believe that mums and dads play irreplaceable and
complementary roles in parenting together.
is Made For Families
CFF is proud to be part of the ecosystem supporting families in Singapore, and identify ourselves as an organisation that is Made For Families.
Made For Families represents the different ways -- big and small -- in which Singapore supports families. Companies, organisations and community groups can adopt the brand mark to identify themselves as promoting the value of family in our society. Together, we can build a society that is Made For Families, by laying a foundation of support, from family-friendly spaces and workplaces, products and services, and family-bonding activities.
Visit go.gov.sg/MadeForFamilies for more information.