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More Singaporeans work flexible hours
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Singapore has seen an increase in flexible working arrangements, the country's Ministry of Manpower said on Monday.

According to the report "Conditions of Employment, 2008" released on Monday, a market survey conducted in mid 2008, the ministry said the proportion of private sector employees on flexible working arrangement increased from 5.1 percent in 2006 to 7.4 percent in 2008.

"Including the public sector, the proportion of employees on flexible working arrangements was higher at 9.4 percent in 2008, lifted by a notable percentage of public sector employees on staggered hours," the report said.

The ministry also said that a large proportion of establishments granted non-statutory leave benefits to their employees, with "85 percent of establishments granted compassionate leave while 70 percent gave marriage leave."

The Singapore government has been promoting flexible working arrangements as an alternative to retrenchments, and an effective way for businesses to cut costs. According to official statistics, Singapore's overall unemployment rate was 2.2 percent in September at a seasonally adjusted basis.

(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2008)

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