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Employees grateful for creches at workplace and flexible working hours programmes


Redha (left) is able to work at home under the FlexWork programme.

Redha (left) is able to work at home under the FlexWork programme.

REDHA Shukor could work from anywhere as a director of PwC Consulting Associates (M) Sdn Bhd. He enjoys flexSpace which is an initiative under PwC Malaysia’s flex+ employment programme.

“As with many other parents in the city, we had the unfortunate experience of our maids running away.

“I do have a strong support system as my family and in-laws help out whenever possible but there are days when I have to be there, to pick up the children or care for them when they are ill. That’s when I will work from home ” he said.

Meanwhile, Lilia Edlina Azmi, 36, a managing consultant in the firm’s tax practice, has opted for the “Reduced Work Week” (RWW) initiative by PwC Malaysia.

Under PwC Malaysia’s Reduced Work Week (RWW) programme, Lilia works only four days a week and is now able to spend more time with her three children. Her health has improved too.
Under PwC Malaysia’s Reduced Work Week (RWW) programme, Lilia works only four days a week and is now able to spend more time with her three children. Her health has improved too.

She works only from Mondays to Thursdays and has more time with her three children, who are all under the age of eight.

She said the flexible work programme resulted in an improvement in her overall well-being.

PwC Malaysia Assurance and People Partner Pauline Ho said the firm’s efforts to improve its employees’ work-life balance started 10 years ago and it was called the Flexible Working Arrangement where employees could choose to work between two-and-half days and four days a week.

It was in response to the needs of PwC’s female staff to help them better manage the demands of being a mother while working full time, she said.

“Our programme has since evolved into flex+, which covers all our employees.

“We noticed that options such as the RWW, Career Break and Time Out are more popular among our female staff. In a year, we receive around 40 to 50 applications, mostly from women. But we hope that as we continue to build on flex+, more fathers will opt for these particular initiatives as well.

Gideon (left) and Norhartini escorting their children to the childcare centre on the premises of the RedQ building in Sepang.

“We did a survey last year, with those on RWW and found that 63% (10 out of the 16 who responded) said that they would have left the workforce if not for the RWW,” said Ho.

AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is also a supporter of such initiatives and agreed to a proposal to set up a child daycare centre within AirAsia's office in the RedQ building in Sepang.

The Lil’ Star Child Care was set-up in January this year and currently has 42 children between the ages of 11 months and six years.

The childcare service currently operates from 7am to 7pm but the group may consider extending the operating hours to cater to its non-office hour staff in future.

Staff are also allowed to send their children to the centre on an ad-hoc basis in case of emergencies.

Gideon Paren Ding, a system engineer at AirAsia, said he sends his four-year-old to the daycare because it was convenient and safe.

“My wife and I are from Sarawak and Sabah respectively. Finding a reliable centre for our son was a challenge.

“I can now work without worrying about the safety of my son,” said Gideon, who appreciates his travelling time spent with his son in the car.

Norhartini Md Ishak, 33, a reability engineer, said she saves travelling time since she could bring her son to work.

“I used to spend an extra hour when I travelled to send my son to a babysitter before I came to work,” said Norhartini, who felt appreciated by her employer for providing childcare facility for parents with young kids.

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