SINGAPORE - MediaOutReach - 4 September 2020 - Strongfamily bonding is becoming even more pertinent amidst the challenges posed bythe COVID-19 season. To celebrate the importance of spending quality familytime 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 earlyat least four times a year so that they can enjoy a meal together with theirfamilies.
Underpinned by multipleresearch studies that show how connecting as a family over a meal can improvethe physical and mental health of family members, EWYFD was launched in 2013 bythe Centre for Fathering to encourage organisations to arrange for employees toleave work at 5pm so that they can eat with their families. The initiative alsoaims to remind parents to put aside time to eat with their children regularly.
Held on the last Fridayof each school term, the dates for EWYFD 2020 are 13 March, 17 July, 4September and 20 November. It is broughtto you by MUMS for Life, DADs for Life and Centre for Fathering, in support of Madefor Families.
"Research hasshown that children who eat with their parents thrive emotionally, socially andacademically. It is therefore important for parents to put aside time daily,away from work and devices, to connect with their children during meals," said MrBryan Tan, CEO of DADs for Life and Centre for Fathering.
He added,"Employers play a critical role in supporting families, as better work-lifeintegration leads to stronger productivity, higher staff commitment and greaterjob satisfaction. As such, it is important for companies to embrace EWYFD tonurture a family-friendly work culture. Even with employees working at home dueto COVID-19, employers can encourage them to consciously stop work early tohave a meal with their families."
Building AFamily-Friendly Work Culture
Companies such asCity Developments Ltd (CDL), EtiqaInsurance Pte Ltd and Eu Yan Sang International Ltd have adopted EWYFD with theintent of creating a family-friendly work culture and promoting greaterwork-life harmony.
"As a family-friendly company, CDLrecognises that employees can be more productive and effective at work whenthey are able to harmonise family and work responsibilities. Over the years, weimplemented a series of other initiatives and schemes to foster afamily-friendly work culture. EWYFD has become an integral part of ourfamily-friendly initiatives. Since 2012, we have also increased the frequencyof this initiative to four times a year to encourage employees to leave workearlier to have dinner with their family," said Mr Steven Tan, Chief Human Resource Officer, City DevelopmentsLtd.
"Here at Etiqa, we believe thatfamily support is instrumental in reducing work stress and facilitatingproductivity. With this in mind, our company practices EF2F -- Early Friday 2ndFriday -- to allow staff to return home early the second Friday of each monthfor dinner with their family. This arrangement boosts staff moral whilecreating a culture of good work-life balance in the company," said Mr CollinSta Maria, Head of Human Capital, Etiqa Insurance Pte Ltd.
"At Eu Yan Sang, we notonly believe our people are a key contributor to our success, but also thattheir families inspire them to be the best they can be. EWYFD allows us torecognise both our staff and their families. We started this in 2018, as one ofmany family-friendly programs that we offer, including staggered working hoursand a lactation room, among others. These supportive practices provide ourstaff greater work-life balance and strengthen Eu Yan Sang's ability to attractand retain talent, as well as improve employee engagement and morale," said MrAaron Boey, Group Chief Executive Officer, Eu Yan Sang International Ltd.
Reflecting employees'appreciation of this initiative, Ms Loh Ferng Lyng, Manager, CDL, said, "Withmy husband and I working full-time, we seldom get to have family dinners as ourkids usually have their meals by 6pm. I really appreciate that CDL grants us anearly 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 uscloser as a unit. It has become such a joy that my children look forward toEWYFD and will constantly remind us when the date draws near!"
SpecialEWYFD programmes to enhance family bonding
To support families who maybe facing challenging times during the COVID-19 season, the organisers of EWYFDare 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 mealdelivered to their homes on Friday, 4 September 2020. These families can alsoparticipate in a photo contest and movie trivia to win prizes and goodie bags.
In addition, EWYFD 2020is also offering:
- Special deals from merchants islandwide which providefamilies with more food, retail and fun options for family outings;
- Complimentary fathering and parenting workshops conductedby the Centre for Fathering;
- A special movie screening of "Happy Feet" on 4September 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 in2000 to promote active and involved fathering and address issues caused byfatherlessness in Singapore. The organisation aims to turn the hearts ofchildren towards their fathers by empowering more fathers to be better rolemodels and an enduring inspiration to their children.
Since 2015, CFF has been the driving force behind Singapore'snation-wide fathering movement - DADs for Life which seeks to inspire andmobilise fathers to become more involved with and a good influence to theirchildren... for life. Under the DADs for Life umbrella are initiatives such asDADs@School, Back to School with DAD, Eat With Your Family Day and CelebratingFathers -- to encourage fathers to spend time with their families and create aculture that promotes active fathering.
MUMs for Life is a ground-up movement to celebrate a mum'sunique identity as a woman, daughter, wife & mother. Our key partner is DADsfor Life because we believe that mums and dads play irreplaceable andcomplementary roles in parenting together.
CFFis 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.