Microsoft NZ bolsters family leave benefits

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Microsoft New Zealand has overhauled its family leave benefits, bringing in new policies and revamping old ones, as it continues its push towards  a more diverse and inclusive culture.

Under the new policy, staff will be able to take up to four weeks’ leave per year – at 100 per cent of their salary – in order to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.

“We ask our people to bring their best every day to support our mission however we realise that there are times when they also need to be fully present at home and able to dedicate their time to the wellbeing of their loved ones,” said Microsoft New Zealand MD, Barrie Sheers.

“Empowerment has always been at the core of our business and by looking after our employees we’re able to retain and attract amazing talent and give them the flexibility to perform at their best.”

All employees will be entitled to take the leave as soon as they start work at Microsoft as the company has scrapped its previous six-month eligibility policy.

The tech firm also announced changes to its existing parental leave policy with primary caregiver leave increasing to from six weeks to 20 weeks and secondary caregiver leave increasing from two weeks to six weeks.

The policy applies to all parents – regardless of whether the child is theirs by birth, adoption or a foster relationship – and all those who take leave will receive 100 per cent of their salary.

Microsoft’s HR head Ebeny Kurz-Firth said employees are critical to the company’s success and therefore so are their families.

“The way people look at how work fits into their lives is changing. There is no longer a clear line down the middle, especially when you do what you love and that has a flow-on effect to families,” she said.

“We are continually reassessing, refining and enhancing the benefits we provide our employees in a way that recognises their commitment to our organisation and how we can enhance their lifestyles.”

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