Online parenting site makchic selects Top Ten Family-Friendly Companies in Malaysia based on its new ‘What Working Parents Want – 2020’ report.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s top ten family-friendly companies include Sunway Group, PwC, Maxis, and Shell Malaysia for their commitment to supporting working parents, online parenting site makchic said today.
The other companies who made the inaugural Top Ten list are Ørsted Services Malaysia, UNDP, Manulife, BASF PETRONAS Chemicals, and Maybank, with honourable mentions Bobble, Zafigo, Canary Design, and PichaEats also making the cut.
Based on its new report titled ‘What Working Parents Want – 2020’, makchic surveyed Malaysia’s working parents and local businesses to find the best organisations that offered the initiatives and work culture most desired by the country’s mothers and fathers.
The report found that 66 percent of parents wanted flexibility in their working hours, by far the most important requirement for work-life balance and harmony. Meanwhile, 43 percent of parents wanted in-house creche or daycare services, while 34 percent valued subsidies and benefits which made childcare affordable.
Malaysian mothers and fathers also viewed extended maternity leave, family care leave and paternity leave as within the top five most important work-life initiatives.
makchic Special Projects Coordinator Seah Lu Sean said the majority of parents surveyed felt that the most important factors that created a truly family-friendly company culture were trust from management in utilising arrangements such as flexible hours, and empathy from colleagues on the importance of family.
“The common theme among the top companies was their recognition that aside from family-friendly policies, company culture was important to encourage full adoption without any penalty. This was evident from their employees’ feedback that they were very happy and content,”said Seah Lu Sean, makchic Special Projects Coordinator
Some examples of innovative work-life practices and initiatives offered by the inspirational organisations on the list were flexible work arrangements, transitioning support for parents and an emergency childcare initiative (PwC Malaysia), in-house childcare facilities, childcare subsidies and women leadership workshops (Sunway Group), and family care leave, adoption leave and cash incentives for their staff’s children’s academic achievements (Manulife Insurance Berhad).
Some of the companies also offered generous childcare benefits including extended maternity leave, such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (six months paid parental leave), Danish green energy provider Ørsted (offering 5 1/2 months paid maternity leave) and Maybank (one year maternity leave – with 90-days full pay, additional maternity leave period of three months with half-pay, and a further six months with no pay). Most also offered paternity leave for the fathers in their employ.
Many companies on the list also offered facilities and conveniences for mothers, such as nursing rooms or fully-equipped mother’s rooms and designated car parks.
Smaller enterprises also found themselves on makchic’s list due to positive testimonials from their staff, many citing family-friendly working cultures that were a commitment from the company’s leaders.
The What Working Parents Want – 2020 report also detailed the struggles of working parents, with 72 percent saying they felt overloaded with responsibilities at home and at work. A whopping 65 percent of parents also said they lacked access to childcare necessary for them to meet their career goals.
Working through this year’s pandemic also proved to be very challenging, with 21 percent of parents saying they were not getting support in managing their working from home. This was mostly due to parents feeling there were no boundaries between work life and home life (32 percent), as they were expected to deliver continuously in both areas.
“We also had a third of working parents saying they suffered from a lack of focus, due to the distractions of domestic responsibilities,”said Seah.
The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), Malaysia’s first think-tank dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges, said employers in the country should note the findings of the report.
“Mothers and fathers continue to add great value to the country’s growth and development, and providing them with a better, kinder and more respectful working environment will bear even greater fruit for the nation. Thus, organisations in both the public and private sectors should take heed of this report’s recommendations and contribute to making Malaysian workplaces better for their own people, for the sake of our collective good,” it said.
In addition to the report and Top Ten List, makchic also produced a toolkit for employers seeking to improve the work-life balance of the mothers and fathers they employ. The toolkit is also for parents who want to know what family-friendly policies or initiatives they should be looking for in the companies they want to join, or that they can encourage within their current organisations.
makchic.com is a Malaysian-based online parenting site for urban mothers and fathers. We are passionate about content and projects that reflect and support chic, curious and spirited parents. We believe in the rich and diverse stories of parenthood that inform, support and uplift all families out there. Makchic has also spearheaded advocacy projects and recently raised funds for single and vulnerable mothers during this pandemic.
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