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This article is brought to you by Societe Generale.

Employees in Societe Generale's Hong Kong office can look forward to several benefits in support of work-life balance, such as 22-30 days of annual leave, 20 weeks of maternity leave, and more.

Over the past year and thanks to the pandemic, our relationship with work has evolved with the rise of hybrid working. More often than not, employees easily find themselves juggling professional and family commitments. Societe Generale shares with us how the investment bank is supporting its employees’ wellbeing in both their professional and personal lives.

The bank has designed a robust and holistic benefits plan inclusive of leave entitlements, flexible working arrangements including remote working, employee assistance programmes, and parental transition support to support its employees at different stages of their lives.

Family-friendly leave policy

Societe Generale offers a suite of family-friendly leave benefits in Asia Pacific to support staff’s work-life balance and demonstrate its commitment to diversity & inclusion. For instance, in its HK office, employees can avail:

  • 22-30 days of annual leave per annum
  • Maternity leave at 20 weeks
  • Paternity and partner leave at 15 working days
  • Adoption and child surrogacy leave is available to employees who become adoptive and surrogate parents, whatever their gender and entitlements are aligned with maternity and paternity, as well as partner leave
  • Five days of bereavement leave with extended scope for next of kin
  • Five days of marriage and civil partnership leave.

Flexible working arrangements

The bank recognises that there are times when staff may want to take time for their personal life and family or that their personal circumstances require some adaptation to the way they work. With the part-time working arrangements available at the bank, employees can request to move to part-time terms on a temporary or permanent basis.

In addition, employees who have been away from the office for 20 weeks or more due to maternity, illness or accident can return to work on part-time terms for several weeks.

To offer even more flexibility and where appropriate to their role, Hong Kong employees of Societe Generale can start and finish their working day up to one hour before or after their contracted hours. Once a month, they can leave work two hours early to run errands.

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Remote working

The bank first launched ‘work from home’ (WFH) initiatives in 2016 and has continuously improved its policies ever since.

Once pandemic-related working arrangements are lifted, eligible members of staff will be able to WFH for up to two days per week. The bank will continue reimbursing its staff for a computer screen, keyboard and mouse to use to WFH.

Employee assistance programme

The work-life programme by Societe Generale in Asia Pacific provides support to employees who are facing personal or family issues, or work-related issues causing stress.

Employees facing questions or concerns in these areas – as well as their family members – can receive free advice and support from experienced and professionally trained counsellors who can be contacted through a variety of media. All conversations are done in local languages or English while being kept anonymous and strictly confidential.

Parental transition support

Parenthood is one of the most significant changes to a person’s habits and identity, and it is also the most long-term phase in life. In 2020/2021, the bank has introduced a dedicated coaching program to helps pregnant employees to effectively manage the whole transition, reduce stress through developing coping mechanisms for the transition back to work and improve career momentum, and allow progression.

The parental transition support also covers webinars for other parents-to-be and the line managers in the bank.

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