OCBC PSLE Leave
In a society where work-life balance is often lop-sided, I applaud OCBC for having the courage to create revolutionary HR policies!
The new PSLE scheme by OCBC Bank allows staff to carry forward between 10-15 days of leave, if they have a child sitting for the PSLE the following year. With this leeway given to employees, staff can spend time at home “helping” their kids for this major exam.
When I first heard of the scheme over the radio, I was just as surprised as many parents! Firstly, OCBC is a local bank, and local banks are never known to be trail-blazers when it comes to work-life balance policies. Therefore, I believe that OCBC deserves some Praise for their revolutionary step to keep their staff happy and to aid job retention. I certainly hope that more employers will follow their lead, and adopt policies in the same direction.
2ndly, I understand the need not to “over-tuition” our kids, and the need for us not to over-stress them! However, I believe that this 2nd concern is tilted towards a parenting style. Every Parent brings up their children differently, and I am sure that there are certain parenting styles that we all laud at and similarly applaud. Parents should be reminded about the dangers of not over-stressing their child, and at the same time, we also should not assume that all Parents will be “drilling” their kids non-stop when they are at home. I generally believe that although there are some parents who might be over zealous in their “drilling”, there are also some parents who can discern how to “help” in moderation as well!
Lastly, I do hope that more influential ministers can get on the program as well. I don’t agree with Josephine Teo’s view that OCBC’s policy is “Over the Top”, nor her views that “PSLE leave” is not necessary.
Clearly, Parents view the PSLE exams as a significant milestone and that they would take “leave” to spend time with their child, regardless of the existence of PSLE leave provision. In fact, working adults who study, also take “leave” to study for their own exams. I would therefore view the fact that, most staff take “leave” for any significant milestone in their life, and that if employers give provision for that, such work-life considerations are definitely encouraging.We’ve not even discussed parents who take leave for regular year-end exams which is a common phenomenon. If OCBC wants to think for its staff and help them, shouldn’t such an outlook be encouraged?