From today onwards, staff at Xero will be able to make use of an enhanced wellbeing leave. This allows more than 2,000 staff globally to not only take leave for both physical or mental illness, to cover medical procedures or when a partner or dependent requires care, but also to take time off for their own personal wellbeing.
According to a media statement, the global small business platform today introduced these changes to leave entitlements in line with World Mental Health Day (10 October). This is to promote and encourage a safe and inclusive environment for everyone at the company, where they are able to access personal leave for their wellbeing and mental health when needed.
Its employees in Singapore will receive 14 days paid leave in addition to annual leave to care for their personal wellbeing, without the need for medical certification.
Staff will also have access to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which allows those who are undergoing a traumatic life experience such as chronic illnesses or the loss of a loved one, to reach out to a dedicated helpline committed to providing guidance and help through a difficult process.
Rachael Powell, chief customer and people officer at Xero, said: "People come to Xero to do the best work of their lives, which is why it’s vital we support not only their physical wellbeing, but their mental wellbeing as well."
Powell added that mental illness and poor wellbeing is something that affects many people, including small businesses; most people will encounter it in themselves or someone they love during their lifetime, reiterating that "we cannot afford to ignore it."
"We hope this small step will help those who need to take time out for their personal wellbeing to do so without feeling a stigma," she said.
According to the Singapore Mental Health Study 2010, more than one in 10 people in Singapore will be stricken by mental illness in their lifetime, the press statement noted. Depression is the most common, being projected to have affected 170,000 adults.
Apart from the new leave policy, Xero is working with organisations including beyondblue in Australia and the Samaritans in the UK to support mental health causes in each region - for its people and for our small business customers.
These efforts during World Mental Health Day form part of Xero's broader commitment to champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and supporting flexible ways of working for all.
Powell said: "We fundamentally believe in the power of the human touch at Xero, and creating a positive inside-out culture that starts with every single Xero employee and resonates out to our partners and customers.
"When we get this right, our people go from functioning to flourishing, which means that everyone inside Xero is set up to play to their strengths and do their best work. A powerful human ripple effect occurs which means we are better able to serve our broader network. Ultimately this has a positive impact by helping global small business thrive."
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