Wise offers 18 fully paid weeks of parental leave

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In addition, all 3,000 employees across its 17 offices will be entitled to 10 days of leave for those affected by pregnancy loss, as well as three 'me days' to "help people manage their life".

Wise, an international money transfer platform, has announced new employee benefits, comprising 18 fully-paid weeks of parental leave for birth and adoption, for all employees globally regardless of the parent's gender, as long as they have been with Wise for more than a year at the due date or adoption date.

In addition, employees will be eligible to avail 10 days of leave on full pay for any "Wisers" affected by pregnancy loss. Not only is this applicable to employees, but also if the circumstance happens to their partner or their baby’s surrogate mother.

The new policies are effective January 2022, and applicable to all of its 3,000 employees in 17 global markets. In the APAC region, Wise has more than 300 Wisers across eight markets, that include Singapore, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Kristo Käärmann, Co-founder and CEO, Wise, stated: "At Wise, we’re an international team and operate without borders. By applying a global leave minimum to everyone on our team, we’re setting the standard of balancing work and personal time. We’re no strangers to challenging the status quo, and making things work better regardless of where people live."

What that implies is that the minimum standard will be applied in every location, even if this is more than local market practice. Thus, the new minimums will only be applied where they offer an improvement on what’s already in place.

Maternity and paternity leave in the US, for example, will increase from 16 weeks to 18 weeks at full pay, and maternity leave in Malaysia will increase from nine weeks to 18 weeks at full pay. Australia and the UK will receive an extra five days of fully-paid sick leave.

On top of parental leaves, all employees are currently entitled to:

  • 33 days of annual leave (including local public holidays, and paid time off i.e. PTO) per year;
  • Three days of 'me' days, to help employees manage their life, per year (eg, - ‘life admin’, general relaxing, or errands like vet visits);
  • Six weeks of paid sabbatical (available every four years of service at Wise);
  • 15 days of sick leave per year, and
  • Five days of compassionate leave per year (with flexibility to increase where needed).

"Time and again, we see people wanting real workplace benefits that truly enhance their work-life balance. It’s not about office gimmicks anymore, but creating a genuinely better place to work. We hope that standardising our global minimums will create a better, and fairer, balance for our Wisers regardless of where they are," said Hayley Bucur, Senior People Leader, Wise.

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