07 Aug 2015 12:00:00 AM

Staff Rejuvenation Programme (SRP)

Published on March 27, 2014
CIMB Group is a leading ASEAN universal bank, the largest Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) investment bank and one of the world’s largest Islamic banks.

The Group is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and offers consumer banking, wholesale banking, Islamic banking and asset management. It is the fifth largest banking group by assets in Southeast Asia, and at the end of September 2013, had over 40,000 staff and approximately 13 million customers.

The Group’s retail banking branch network is the widest in the region, with more than 1,000 retail branches in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia.

“Our Staff Rejuvenation Programme allows our people to take time when it really matters.”

- Hamidah Naziadin, Head, Group Corporate Resources, CIMB Group

CIMB Group is driven by innovative high-performers who dare to push boundaries. As a high performance institution that values integrity, innovation and service quality, the work pace can be demanding as the Group strives to fulfill its ambition to be a leading ASEAN bank.

Supporting this high performance culture is a strong learning and talent development infrastructure, and competitive pay and benefits that take care of both staff and their families. CIMB provides medical and hospitalisation benefits for immediate family members, flexible benefits, and also scholarships for children of eligible employees.

Maternity leave given is beyond the mandatory 60 days. Childcare subsidies are available for eligible staff with children below the age of seven. Family-related activities such as safety workshops for children and football clinics provide opportunities for children of staff to get to know one another and also to foster a sense of belonging among staff. Regional talent shows like “CIMB Has Talent” and sporting events like the CIMB SEA Games and treasure hunts allow its people to take a break and have fun.

The CIMB Staff Rejuvenation Programme (SRP) was introduced in 2009 as a benefit which allows staff to take one to six months off without affecting their seniority or job security. As the name suggests, the SRP is aimed at allowing staff to take time off to rejuvenate. However, many employees take the SRP to handle personal matters that are critical but often also temporary, such as in-between maid problems and caring for a family member who is ill. While employees can take up to six months off, most (72%) applicants take only one to three months. By giving such no-pay leave as a staff benefit, the programme retains employees who might otherwise have to resign to handle their personal matters.

Department heads are given the autonomy to decide on SRP applications, in consultation with HR where necessary. Staff members are also expected to discuss the matter with their heads before applying. As staff requirements vary depending on circumstances or the urgency of the situation, there is no formal period of notice that needs to be observed prior to applying for the leave. This is also subject to the discretion of the department heads on case-to-case basis.

Departments or units are expected to redistribute the work load among remaining team members and work around the employees’ absence during their SRP. Staff under the SRP may also be required to return to work should an urgent need arises.

While the SRP is gender-neutral, it has benefited mostly women. Since 2009, 707 employees have taken up the SRP. Of this, more than 70% (or 520 applicants) are women. In 2013, the percentage of women rose to the highest ever at 76.5%.

Ms Kuan Sook Cheng, 29,
Associate Director,
Corporate Finance, CIMB Group, Kuala Lumpur

I took the SRP for the first time in 2010 to look after my mother who had a heart attack. More recently, in 2013, I took four months off to rest, spend time with my family, and travel. My job at Corporate Finance is intense and involves long hours. I feel so much more refreshed after my break. Many of my friends tell me that I am lucky to have an employer who provides such benefits. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to rejuvenate.

Ms Marjorie Wilson Allie, 31,
Customer Service Executive
Group Cards and Personal Financing, Kuala Lumpur

2013 had been a really tough year. I had just ended my maternity leave when I got news that my mother had a relapse of her cancer and had collapsed. She could no longer walk or talk. I wanted to care for her but she lived in Kuching while I work in Kuala Lumpur. The SRP allowed me go back to Kuching to spend the last three months with her until she passed away in June. It would have been too expensive for me to fly back and forth, and I also just had a new baby. I really appreciate CIMB for this gift. I am the eldest child in my family and also the only daughter. To be able to be with my mother until the end means a lot to me.

Ms Karen Ng, 49,
Personal Assistant,
Group Human Resource

I took SRP about five years ago for about seven weeks to help my two daughters prepare for their UPSR and SPM. It was good to be able to spend time with them and to monitor their exam preparation. Without the SRP, I would not have been able to concentrate at work, worrying about them studying at home without proper supervision. I am grateful to my boss for allowing me the time off, and I am glad that CIMB provides this staff benefit.

Puan Rosita Ramudin, 51,
Assistant Manager,
Consumer Credit Operations

After going through an operation for a spinal slipped disc last year, I had to undergo physiotherapy from time to time to fully recover. This year, I decided to take a month off for more intense physiotherapy. Each session takes three hours. I felt that it is better to take the SRP than to rush back to the office after each physio session as that would be too stressful. Thankfully, my boss is supportive of the idea and that really helped me tremendously.