ANZ is providing its staff with one day of paid leave, per year, to provide volunteer services to charities and community organisations of their own choice.
With close to 4,000 employees, New Zealand's charitable organisations could be the welcome recipients of around 30,000 volunteer hours per year.
One day is just the minimum the Bank is making available. Individual business units have the ability to provide their people with additional volunteer time - ANZ's Global Transaction Services group is providing two days.
ANZ Managing Director Dr Murray Horn says the volunteer leave policy is a substantial commitment from the Bank, which he hopes will not only benefit the community but also ANZ staff.
"We have introduced this policy because we recognise the value of meaningful community service. We want to acknowledge those staff members who already volunteer and encourage those who haven't volunteered before to give it a go," he says.
"We want our people to volunteer for causes they are passionate about so it is entirely up to them if and where they decide to help out," he says.
ANZ's volunteer leave will be managed in the same way as ordinary paid leave, which ensures that customer service levels are maintained.
The ANZ volunteer leave policy comes into effect on July 1 2001, half way through the United Nations International Year of the Volunteer.