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Credit Suisse: Enhancement of paternity leave, family and care leave, and service anniversaries

Credit Suisse launches wide range of measures to improve work-life balance for employees based in Switzerland

The expectations to which modern employers must respond are changing. Now more than ever, it is important wherever possible to meet the varying needs of employees, not least as regards the organization of their working hours. It is also important to offer employees who find themselves in specific personal situations the flexibility and freedom they need – whether it involves the birth of a child or the need to care for close relatives. Against this background, Credit Suisse in Switzerland has decided to implement a range of measures to improve the balance between work and private life.

In recent years the demand for increased flexibility in employees' everyday working lives has risen appreciably and Credit Suisse, as a modern employer, is determined to offer its employees fair and progressive working conditions. Various ways of personalizing working time arrangements – including flexible working hours, part-time working, job sharing and home offices – have already been put in place. From the beginning of 2019, Credit Suisse in Switzerland will implement a number of additional measures.

One group to benefit will be the 400 or so new fathers each year at Credit Suisse who will now be eligible for 12 instead of the previous 5 days of paternity leave. These can be taken during the year following the birth or adoption of a child. Fathers will now be able to choose whether they want to take these days in a block, or in the form of a temporary reduction in their level of employment, or as a combination of both options. It would be possible, for example, to opt for an 80% workload (instead of the usual 100%) for a period of three months without any negative impact on salary. In fact, they can add to the 12 days by using unpaid leave or reaching an agreement to work part-time if this is possible from an operational perspective.

Due not least to demographic trends, many people are also experiencing an increased need to care for sick or care-dependent family members. Credit Suisse would like to help its employees to cope with these additional responsibilities. With this in mind, up to ten days of care leave can now be granted per case of illness for the necessary care and support of relatives. If a longer period of care is necessary, a solution which meets the needs of both the employee and the bank can usually be found. This also includes the possibility of unpaid leave and a temporary reduction in the employee's level of employment.

Credit Suisse also places great emphasis on promoting the health and wellbeing of its staff. All employees will now have access to a quick and convenient way of buying five or ten days' additional holiday per year if they would like to take more than the standard 25 or 30 vacation days respectively. Members of senior management with at least ten years of service will now also be entitled to a three-month sabbatical on a reduced salary, provided they have reached the minimum age of 50.

Finally, service anniversary gifts have always been an important way for Credit Suisse to show its appreciation for the performance, commitment and loyalty of its employees. Originally, anniversary gifts were only given to employees after ten years' service, but now they will be available in the form of two additional vacation days after just five years. Credit Suisse is implementing a graduated approach under which its employees will receive a service anniversary gift every five years in the form of additional vacation days, cash or assets (e.g. Credit Suisse Group shares).

For Credit Suisse, it will remain a key concern to give expression within the company to social developments relating to working hours and the associated changing requirements of employees. This will allow Credit Suisse, as a modern and attractive employer, to offer progressive working conditions which ensure a healthy work-life balance.