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HKBN Group announced on Monday it’s adding a new type of leave to its benefits collection. Starting April 1, the company will grant three days of leave to employees who become grandparents.
The so-called grandparenthood leave allows employees to “take time off to welcome a new member into their family and celebrate an important moment in life”, the company states in a press release. To be eligible, the employee needs to simply produce a photo of the three generations, including the newborn.
CY Chan, associate director – talent management & organisation development and co-owner, commented: “At HKBN, our ethos is that life takes priority over work, which is why we uphold ‘life-work priority’ rather than ‘work-life balance’. We believe when our talents are empowered with higher flexibility to pursue purposeful personal and family lives, they come to work far more motivated resulting in far increased efficiency and productivity.”
He added that the company aims to encourage more companies to adopt similar measures to care for their talents, and join HKBN in making Hong Kong a better place to live.
Human Resources magazine reached out to Chan via email to get some more details on the new policy.
Q. Based on your current workforce how many talents do you expect will make use of the grandparenthood leave on an annual basis?
“We can’t really have a precise forecast due to the nature, but we assume that talents over 45 years of age or above would have a higher chance of enjoying this new leave, which is around 16.5% of our total HK workforce.”
Q. Is it a move in preparation of an aging workforce?
“When adding new benefits we primarily focus on providing something that would engage our talents, i.e. something they would be happy with, and that the benefits are operationally feasible. This idea came up because we started to see some of our talents becoming grandparents, but it was never a move in preparation of an aging workforce. The fact is we still have a relatively young workforce with our overall average age around 35.”
Q. What is the estimated annual cost of the new leave allowance for HKBN?
“There is no real cost involved, only loss of productivity during leave taken. We don’t have an estimate, but like always we don’t put too much focus on tangible ROIs when deciding on new benefits, rather we focus on the engagement level and how “wow” it is to our talents.
If a temporary loss of productivity is followed by engaged talents working happier, the overall gain of productivity could be much higher. And that engagement isn’t limited to eligible talents because all our talents can feel that HKBN cares about them.”
The new grandparenthood leave comes in addition to a range of other benefits introduced by the company as of September last year. Among other things, employees can enjoy 16 weeks of maternity leave, 14 days of paternity leave, 5 days of marriage leave – all fully paid.
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Photo / HKBN