German banking and financial services provider Deutsche Bank has announced changes to its parental leave policy across Asia Pacific – making parental leave gender neutral, and aligning surrogacy and adoption leave with other parental leave entitlements.
The new policies take effect from 1 January 2017, across Deutsche Bank’s operations in 15 Asia Pacific countries, including, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.
The new entitlements will also be applicable to the bank’s 150 employees in Malaysia, as well as the 2,100 employees at its APAC head office in Singapore, to be implemented within the parental leave frameworks of each of the 15 countries.
The policy entitles parental leave to the primary caregiver, be it the mother or father of the child, rather than tie parental leave to gender. It replaces what was previously called maternity and paternity leave. That implies, parents can choose who will be the primary caregiver, therefore share parental leave.
For example, a new father may elect to become the primary caregiver after the mother returns to work within the parental leave period, at which point the father will be entitled to the remaining weeks of paid parental leave.
Deutsche Bank head of HR Asia Pacific, Jeremy Broome, said: “This new parental leave policy for Asia Pacific recognises all primary caregivers equally.”
“The new regional policy is designed to encourage more fathers to take an active role in caring for their new born or newly adopted child, and it also gives new mothers flexibility and choice to manage family and career with the support of their partner,” he added.
The policy also brings parental leave entitlements for adoptive parents into line with those afforded to other new parents, by providing paid leave for the primary caregiver of a new born (including by surrogacy) and a newly adopted child below the age of seven years old.
It was launched at an event held at Deutsche Bank in Singapore, where Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development, Tan Chuan-Jin was guest of honour.
He commented: “Fathers play an important role in the lives of their children by being good role models. I would like to encourage more fathers to make good use of the leave enhancements, and make the personal choice to be present for their children as they grow up.”
Human Resources spoke to Jeremy Broome, the bank’s head of HR APAC, to find out more.
Q. What was the business argument behind the conceptualisation of this policy?
Creating an environment that recognises the needs of employees to balance work with family is part of Deutsche Bank’s efforts to attract and retain talent and create a diverse and highly motivated workforce.
Q. How many employees is this policy expected to impact in the next one year?
The new parental leave policy will be implemented within the parental leave frameworks of individual countries and available to more than 20,000 Deutsche Bank employees in the Asia Pacific region.
Q. Do you have a system of checks and balances to prevent misuse of the policy?
The parental leave policy centres on the primary care giver who takes primary responsibility for care of his/ her child during the bank’s typical working hours. If employees do not give birth and choose to be the primary caregiver, they must obtain a statutory declaration or affidavit declaring responsibility as the primary care giver.
Q. What metrics do you plan to observe in order to gauge feedback to the policy?
Deutsche Bank will analyse data on the number of employees applying for parental leave and gather informal feedback.
Lead photo / 123RF | Panel photo / Deutsche Bank