Berne, 13 November 2014
Many people want more time to travel, spend time with their family or pursue their hobbies. Swisscom employees can therefore now get up to two weeks’ unpaid leave a year. Swisscom has tested leave purchasing successfully since the start of the year and is now rolling it out across the company. 130 network and IT employees took up the offer to test the scheme. Together, they took a total of about 900 extra days off work, for which they weren’t paid. With their line manager’s approval and where acceptable from an operational perspective, employees can now add a maximum of two weeks to their annual five- to six-week leave allocation. “During the pilot study, we noticed that many employees felt the need to buy extra leave,” says Hans C. Werner, Swisscom’s Chief Personnel Officer. “Swisscom is keen for its employees to have a healthy work-life balance, and that’s precisely what this new offer targets.”
A survey of Swisscom employees found that 12% of respondents said they currently look after a family member, 15% had done so in the past and 16% expected to have to do so in the foreseeable future. They included staff at all levels. These employees are particularly dependent on flexible working hours, easy contactability at work, flexible workplaces or teleworking opportunities as well as the ability to take paid or unpaid leave. With a view to offering staff a way to handle a career and carer responsibilities in a flexible manner, Swisscom is currently testing two combinable models. Employees with short-term care responsibilities lasting three to four months can now reduce their working hours temporarily using their flexitime account by agreement with their line manager. As a result, they can work fewer hours while looking after their loved ones, and then recoup the lost time at a later date without financial consequences. The second model is aimed at employees who have to care for a family member over longer periods alongside their job. This target group can temporarily reduce its working hours for at least three months but no longer than twelve.