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Standard Chartered launches scheme.

MANAMA: A new employee benefits scheme granting mothers 140 days of maternity leave as well as 10 working days to fathers as paternity leave has been launched by Standard Chartered Bank Bahrain.

To be implemented from January 1 next year, the scheme entitles the bank's women employees to 80 days of maternity leave on half pay, in addition to the standard 60 days of maternity leave under Labour Ministry regulations, Standard Chartered Bahrain chief executive Hassan Jarrar told a Press conference at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Hotel and Spa yesterday.

Additionally, the bank's male employees will get 10 working days of paid paternity leave.

According to him, it is the first-of-its-kind benefit in Bahrain's finance and banking sector and in line with the Supreme Council for Women's strategy to empower women in banking and finance.

"This is a step towards a more equal opportunity environment and offers

flexibility to parents without having to compromise on their career or families," he said.

Supreme Council for Women's acting general director of policy and development Dr Donya Ahmed who also addressed the Press said the council felt the scheme would help in ensuring that women had a safe and healthy environment to work in, knowing that career progression would not be jeopardised when leave was taken.

"The paternal leave given to fathers is also great as the burden of parenthood can be shared when a new child is born. We thank Standard Chartered for their initiative and look forward to more initiatives of the same from others," Dr Ahmed said.

Also present was Labour Ministry assistant under-secretary of labour Dr Mohammed Al Ansari who said the scheme would help in the retention of women in the workforce across the bank.

"This definitely provides an environment conducive to parents where it helps them adjust to parenthood as well as work productively," he said.

This scheme, which is also implemented in other Standard Chartered branches across the globe, was initiated and funnelled from the bank's global diversity and inclusion committee agenda as it recognised through research that women may face tough decisions when it comes to starting families and coming back to work.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Jun 23, 2015
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