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STANDARD Chartered Bank Singapore on Monday said it would increase fully-paid maternity leave for Singapore-based employees to 20 weeks. New adoptive mothers will also benefit from 20 calendar weeks' leave, compared with the current industry entitlement of four weeks.
This is extended to all employees of the bank, regardless of length of service, and will be effective from April 1, 2017.
This will beat the current practice of 16 weeks in maternity leave.
The bank is also ramping up its flexible working practices, to allow employees the option to work part time, choose flexible working hours, or work from home on selected days, subject to the nature of their roles and managers' approval. Based on internal statistics, the bank's flexible working arrangement has grown in popularity. In 2015, the flexible working take-up rate grew 10 per cent year-on-year, and increased to 30 per cent year-on-year in 2016.
Charlotte Thng, head of human resources, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore, said: "People are our greatest asset and developing a strong Singapore core is a key priority for the bank."
She added that women are key contributors to the bank's business, with 45 per cent of the bank's management team in Singapore being women. For the past three years, females comprise almost 50 per cent of the workforce in Singapore.
"We recognise the dual roles many of them have to play, and want them to succeed both at work and at home."
Internal studies carried out show that employee motivation has evolved, and that staff feel more motivated at work when they receive better support in the integration of their professional and personal lives, the bank added.
Male Singapore employees' entitlement at Standard Chartered Singapore remains at two calendar weeks of paternity leave.