SINGAPORE: OCBC has launched two new schemes to meet employees’ increasing need for better work—life balance.
More than 7,000 staff from OCBC and its subsidiaries — OCBC Malaysia, OCBC China and Great Eastern Holdings — will benefit from these schemes.
These schemes apply to employees with at least five years of service.
The first scheme is a three—month career break scheme.
Eligible employees can take three consecutive months of unpaid sabbatical leave, up to a maximum of two career breaks during their time of employment.
The career break can be taken for any reason — to spend more time with their families, to see the world, to do volunteer work, to take a course or simply to rest and relax.
During the three months, the employees will continue to be covered under the company’s insurance plans for medical treatment and hospitalisation.
Ernest Phang, senior vice—president of group human resources at OCBC, said: "Many of them will want to just recharge, and when they come back, they will be all ready to take on new challenges."
The second is a PSLE Leave Scheme.
Starting from January 2013, employees of OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries can apply for up to three weeks of leave to help their child prepare for their PSLE examination.
They are not extra leave days, but what is different is employees can save their leave days and use them beyond the deadline to clear their annual leave.
Currently, staff can only keep half of their annual leave up to June every year.
Those who are with the bank’s branches overseas can also apply — if the child has a similar examination.
Mr Phang said: "We had quite a number of employees who were applying for sabbatical leave. We found out that a large number of them actually did so because they needed time off to help their children for the PSLE. That is why we are doing this."
Some parents MediaCorp spoke to believe the time off will be put to good use.
One parent said: "By my employers giving me those off days, it will definitely help me sit next to my daughter and monitor her. At least my mind will be at ease, because if I am going to be working, I will not be able to work in peace not knowing whether my daughter has finished her revision and how much has she coped."
Another said: "It helps parents to have work—life balance. At the same time, it assists the child to get over their examination stress."
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