Are you worried about a stall in your career progression while on maternity leave? Do you want to stay mentally active and find more ways to make extra cash in your spare time? Have you considered freelancing?
There’s plenty you can do as a freelancing mother in Singapore, but before embarking on any projects, you must understand what the law entails when it comes to your contractual obligations.
Can you freelance during your maternity leave in Singapore?
When you are on maternity leave in Singapore, you are still an employer of the organisation. That said, you are not allowed to work for another employer. Otherwise, your maternity benefits will be forfeited and you could be dismissed. That does not mean you cannot explore some stints while you take care of your little one. There are other ways to upskill or hone your craft that will not put you in breach of your contract.
Freelance jobs to explore while on maternity leave
One of the best freelancing jobs you can explore while on maternity leave in Singapore is talent-based work which you can perform remotely. From crafting advertising copy and designing powerpoint decks to analysing data, there’s plenty of demand for skilled talent in these areas. While you may think you might not fit the bill, chances are you have transferable skills that are sought after by many. For instance, a human resource manager may take up a gig to work on a PowerPoint deck, while a secondary school teacher may choose to assist in fact-checking content. One of the best ways to land for yourself these projects is to explore online portals for freelancers. The popular ones include:
- Design Pickle — For graphic designers
- Fiverr — For graphic designers
- iWriter — For writers
- BloggingPro — For writers
One of the best ways to stay engaged with the world of work is to get busy with projects that mentally stimulate you. You exercise your mind regularly at a pace you are comfortable with. In doing so, you can even diversify your skillsets. These will not only be worth mentioning on your resume but are also useful when you return to work following your leave.
What to be mindful of:
Ensure that the work you have taken on does not cause any conflict of interest with the company you are currently hired by. This may cause repercussions which can amount to a possible breach of contract. When in doubt, always check your employment contract for the finer terms and conditions.
If you have a knack for mentoring, taking up some tuition gigs during the period may be helpful. You could get in touch with parents whose kids need extra help in subjects you can guide them on. While this may be a little challenging, especially if your little one wakes up frequently, tutoring can still be possible once you have set a schedule. For instance, if your baby sleeps the whole afternoon, you can call your student over for an hour’s lesson during that period.
Teaching or mentoring is an excellent way to revisit some basic concepts if they apply directly to your current job. In other instances, you can keep yourself engaged while building up your communications skills and information delivery.
What to be mindful of:
If you are a teacher hired by the Ministry of Education, you might also want to check your school’s regulations on the practice. A conflict of interest may arise should you teach students from the same school. As the ministry advises teachers to stay focused on their core responsibilities as a teacher in the school, it also closely monitors the number of teachers giving paid private tuition outside of school hours.
Aside from remote work or tuition, there are plenty of niche freelancing options you can consider. For instance, if you are an avid baker, you could take the time to bake a few of your favourites and sell them to your close circle of family and friends. Perhaps you love all things crafts? You can set up your own online store on platforms like Etsy or Carousell and attract customers to order some customised crafts from you.
The options are there for you to choose from — make them work for you!