Xero introduces new wellbeing leave for employees

In conjunction with World Mental Health Day, Xero hopes to fight the stigma of mental health in the workplace.
By: | October 10, 2018


International software company Xero is making changes to leave entitlements for its employees around the world, in conjunction with World Mental Health Day today.

Xero is head-quartered in New Zealand, and has more than 2,000 employees around the world.

Its new Wellbeing Leave policy allows Xero staff to take leave for physical or mental illness, to cover medical procedures, when a partner or dependent requires care, and also to take time off for their own personal well-being.

Employees in Singapore will receive 14 days paid leave in addition to Annual Leave to care for their personal well-being, without the need for medical certification.

Employees also have access to the company’s Employee Assistance Programme which allows those who are undergoing a traumatic life experience such as chronic illnesses or the loss of a loved one, to reach out to a dedicated helpline committed to providing guidance and help through a difficult process.

“People come to Xero to do the best work of their lives, which is why it’s vital we support not only their physical well-being, but their mental wellbeing as well,” said Rachael Powell, Chief Customer and People Officer at Xero.

“Mental illness and poor wellbeing is something that affects many people, including small businesses; most people will encounter it in themselves or someone they love during their lifetime. We cannot afford to ignore it.”

“We hope this small step will help those who need to take time out for their personal well-being to do so without feeling a stigma,” she added.

The theme of World Mental Health Day 2018 is “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World,” highlighting the need to focus on preventing and supporting mental illness in those from a young age.

As HRM Asia noted in its in-depth story on employee mental health, the collective annual cost of workplace depression is in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Read more about what HR needs to know here: Working blues