HSBC extends annual leave as Christmas gift for HK staff

December 02, 2019 11:25
HSBC wants to reward its staff for working hard amid the uncertainties caused by months of protests in the city. Photo: CNSA

It is said that in Hong Kong, employers give staff a salary raise in a good year, but offer more holidays when business is not so good. 

I remember a former employer gave an additional three-day paid leave during a Christmas draw, which many thought was better than the top prize, a new iPhone model.

That's why we are wondering how HSBC (00005.HK) sees itself in the coming year.

HSBC Hong Kong says it will award its staff additional holidays next year to thank them for their efforts over the past months.

The No. 1 bank in Hong Kong, where it hires over 20,000 for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and 11,000 for Hang Seng Bank (00011.HK), is one of the most generous employers in the city.

The bank usually gives its staff an annual leave of 30 days. And now, it will be a full 31-day annual leave.

Of course, in order to benefit from the longer holidays, you have to stay on first.

The bank has made it clear that it will shed more jobs to maintain profitability. Its former chief executive John Flint left the bank in the summer amid rumors that he was reluctant to aggressively cut headcounts.

A spokesman says HSBC sees its staff as its most important and precious assets. The bank has been able to maintain normal operations over the past few months despite the unrest roiling the city, thanks to the professionalism and focused attitude of its staff.

Many employees sometimes had to work from home because of transport woes and uncertainties resulting from the protests since June.

But despite all the turmoil, the bank has remained relatively unscathed, unlike some of its mainland peers which have become the targets of vandalism by radical protesters in the city.

Last year, HSBC also upgraded the benefits for its tier 5 and tier 6 staff, increasing their annual leave to 24 days from 22. Hang Seng Bank has granted its employees one more day of annual leave this year.

So if you don't get the salary raise you anticipate for next year, it won't be too bad if you get more holidays to enjoy.

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EJ Insight writer