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Hewlett Packard Enterprise offering 26 weeks of paid leave for new parents

HEWLETT Packard Enterprise (HPE) on Monday announced the rollout of various employee programmes, including 26 weeks of paid leave for new parents - both mothers and fathers. This is part of its new initiative to improve the wellbeing of its staffers, and their work/life balance, the tech company said. 

Other programmes include Parental Transition Support, Retirement Transition Support, as well as 'Wellness Fridays' where employees are encouraged to leave the office three hours early on one Friday each month to volunteer, focus on their physical/emotional health, or spend time on personal/career development.

In a press statement, HPE noted that it is implementing these innovative policies on paid parental leave and flexible working arrangements in recognition of the importance of equal parenting, and the role that workplace culture can play in supporting it.

HPE has enhanced its paid parental leave policy to allow new parents with at least one year of service in HPE, to benefit from 26 weeks of paid leave within the first year after the birth, or adoption of a child. This represents an increase of 10 weeks for mothers, and 24 weeks for fathers in Singapore.

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According to the tech firm, eligibility for the extended paid paternal leave benefit is being retroactively applied to parents with children born or adopted on, or after May 1, 2019.

In addition, the company's Parental Transition Support is a flexible work arrangement policy that offers new parents the opportunity to work part-time for up to three years, after the birth, or adoption of a child.

Narinder Kapoor, managing director of Asia-Pacific (Apac)  at HPE said: "At HPE in Singapore, we want all of our employees to be reaching their full potential in their careers. That means supporting them as they grow their families as well.

"We are very proud to be rolling out this global initiative for our employees. By investing in our highly skilled and motivated workforce, we will cement HPE's position as an employer of choice globally and here in Singapore."

With the firm's Retirement Transition Support, staff members approaching retirement will also be given the opportunity to work part-time to help them adjust to their lifestyle changes, while transferring their knowledge, and/or serving as a mentor to other employees, the company said. 

Rohini Sachitanand, HPE's HR director for Apac added: "HPE's culture values employees' lives both inside and outside of the office, and our benefits reflect this. By focusing on wellness and flexibility, we are able to build a culture where our people can develop and thrive, even in times of transition at home."

US tech giant HP has about 55,000 employees, while 2015 estimates pegged its Singapore headcount at up to 10,000.

Four years ago, the group was split globally into two companies: HPE, which sells business IT solutions and services, and HP, which focuses on personal computers and printers.

Earlier this month, HP announced that it plans to cut up to 16 per cent of its global workforce. The cuts come as the personal computer maker embarks on a broad restructuring to reduce costs, and boost sales amid a leadership change, and falling revenue from its printing business.

HP said that it would slash global headcount "by approximately 7,000 to 9,000 employees through a combination of employee exits and voluntary early retirement".

The cuts are expected to help the company save about US$1 billion by the end of the 2022 financial year, though it is unclear how the Singapore staff will be affected.

Staff members told ST in early October that although they were worried, they have not been told of any job cuts then.