PwC Middle East entrenches new suite of employee benefits

03 November 2021 3 min. read

Four months of paid maternity leave, flexible working conditions, and a commitment to digital upskilling feature among a suite of new employee policies launched by PwC.

The Middle East branch of professional service firm PwC has announced a range of new human resources policies for its 7,000-strong headcount across the region, including a $20 million investment into digital upskilling and four months of paid parental leave for new mothers. The move is part of the firm’s $12 billion global ‘New Equation’ strategy, which includes the goal of doubling its local headcount over the next five years.

“Our new people framework is aligned with our global strategy, covering everything from how we enable our employees with continuous learning opportunities and transformative work to how we give back to the communities we operate in and make an impact as employers of choice in the region,” said PwC Middle East Senior Partner Hani Ashkar. “It’s built on a two-way exchange that brings the best of our firm but also empowers and enables top talent.”

PwC Middle East entrenches new suite of employee benefits

According to the firm, its new people framework has been built around four people-centric principles, described as ‘balanced living’ (staff wellbeing together with transformative work), ‘unlocked potential’ (staff aspirations together with PwC’s development legacy), ‘sense of belonging’ (combining individual uniqueness and a culture of care), and ‘limitless possibilities’, which considers employee flexibility and personal circumstances.

Among some of the headlining new policies are a commitment to firm-wide ‘blackout’ days across the twelve countries of PwC’s regional operations, with financial incentives put in place for staff members to take more than five consecutive days of leave. In addition, PwC Middle East will adopt a flexible working environment mapped to employee roles and responsibilities, with personal commitments to be “respected and upheld” through open discussions.

“Long gone is the idea that work should be completely removed from life and vice versa,” commented Mona Abou Hana, PwC’s Chief People Officer for the Middle East and EMEA. “Today, living a fulfilling life means that you’re met with opportunities to deliver transformative work but also have the ability to look after yourself. Our new people framework is an extension of these daily practices and part of our evolution.”

As well as a flexible working approach and encouragement of personal wellbeing, the firm has also instituted seven months of maternity leave with four of those paid for new mothers, on top of its existing 15-day flexible paternity leave policy. PwC has also introduced a maternity ‘leave buddy programme’ and paid Keep in Touch (KIT) days, to help support employees through their transition into motherhood and return to work.

“We’re a community of solvers that come together in unexpected ways to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes,” concluded Abou Hana. “We solve important problems, support one another as we grow, develop and build fulfilling careers. We thrive in uncertainty, operate with integrity and leverage the diverse perspectives of our teams. That’s who we are, and we’ve launched our refreshed people framework to enable this.”