CIMB Bank has announced a new employee benefit of six months of paid maternity leave for employees in Malaysia who become first-time mothers, effective 1 January 2019.
This follows the introduction of a one-month paid paternity leave for first-time fathers, announced in 2017 to enable fathers to spend more time with their firstborn, and share parental responsibilities with their wives in welcoming their new baby into the world.
In a press release on 6 January 2019, the bank said first-time mothers will have the flexibility to start their maternity leave as early as 30 days before their estimated delivery date. It could also be complemented by CIMB's existing staff rejuvenation programme which allows employees up to six months' unpaid leave - in other words, women employees are now allowed to take an entire year off to care for their firstborn.
Dato' Hamidah Naziadin, Group Chief People Officer at CIMB, said: "This enhanced maternity benefit, and our existing one-month paternity leave are part of our new holistic approach on managing human capital, by recognising that employees have different needs at different phases of their life, and by promoting a shared parenting culture for young families in our workforce.
"We also believe that by allowing first-time parents a longer period to adjust to parenthood, they could create a more meaningful and positive experience with their first-borns whilst maintaining their career. We are also exploring the possibility of extending this benefit to all our employees Group-wide."
Aside from maternity and paternity leaves, CIMB also offers a work-from-home policy, allowing staff with children aged five and below or with special needs, to work from home for one day per week.
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