Singapore: Couple opens home to pregnant women amidst Zika threat

Standard Chartered Bank Singapore announced on Monday that it will be introducing 20-week paid maternity and adoption leave from 1 April. Meanwhile, male employees will continue to get two calendar weeks of paternity leave as part of the bank's family-friendly culture.

According to Channel News Asia, this 20-week leave, which is extended to all employees of the bank regardless of length of service, will also benefit new adoptive mothers. "Women are key contributors to the Bank's business. Forty-five per cent of the Bank's management team in Singapore are women, and for the past three years, females comprise almost 50 per cent of the workforce in Singapore," said Charlotte Thng, head of Human Resources at Standard Chartered Bank Singapore, as reported.

"We recognise the dual roles many of them have to play, and want them to succeed both at work and at home," she added.

According to Ministry of Manpower's website, the current entitlement for maternity and adoption leave is 16 weeks and four weeks, respectively.

Not only beneficial maternity leave policies, the bank is also loosening up its policies regarding the work also. Employees now have the option to work part-time, choose flexible working hours, or work from home on selected days. However, these new rules are subjected to the nature of the roles and managers' approval. "This is part of the bank's focus to adapt to and support the changing requirements of the workforce," said the bank in the press release said.