Hong Kong’s working mothers are choosing to take advantage of flexible working and/or part time positions following their return from maternity leave, according to new research by Robert Half.
The research is based on a response from 100 HR directors in Hong Kong to a survey developed by Robert Half.
Three out of four (74%) of those polled said it was common for female employees to move into part-time and/or flexible working roles upon their return from maternity leave.
This trend was particularly pronounced at large firms, where 86% of HR directors said that employees would return into roles with more parent-friendly conditions.
“It is encouraging to see employers’ willingness to adopt flexible working schedules for their staff allowing more women to be a professional and a parent simultaneously," says Pallavi Anand, Director of Robert Half in Hong Kong. "The percentage of women who are returning to work in Hong Kong following maternity leave has traditionally been higher than other jurisdictions because of the availability of affordable healthcare in the region.”
The trend for flexible working conditions seems to be taking off in Hong Kong as it is globally because of the shift to try and encourage women into more senior positions and on executive boards whilst being able to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
In addition, half (50%) of the HR directors polled said their companies offered part time of job share opportunities for new mothers and a further 14% said they are planning to implement these initiatives in a bid to retain employees.
Similarly, nearly half (49%) said they offered flexible working conditions and 12% said they plan to add flexible working initiatives.
“Companies are waking up to the fact that to retain skilled women in the workforce, they need to offer more than good compensation packages," adds Anand. "Flexible working and part time or job share opportunities are the tip of the iceberg – our survey also shows Hong Kong companies have or are planning to introduce: onsite childcare services, family health and dental plans, and telecommuting – to hold on to valuable female employees.”