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Westpac to provide childcare centres for employees

30 November 2005

Westpac to provide childcare centres for employees

Westpac has today announced plans to provide childcare centres for its staff in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with more to follow.

Places in the centres will be offered first to Westpac employees, with any additional places then made available to the local community.

Westpac has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ABC Learning Centres Ltd, which already runs over 360 childcare centres throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Westpac CEO Ann Sherry said that employer childcare centres using an external provider to provide childcare services had not been done before by a financial services organisation in New Zealand, but that Westpac was making the move as a response to a call for childcare centres from its staff.

“They told us overwhelmingly that providing childcare centres close to work would help to balance their working and home lives,” Ann Sherry said. “They also said that it would assist in their return to work, which is often a stressful time for parents, ” she added.

“There are some outstanding legal and other commercial issues to resolve, which involve discussions with various Government agencies, but our aim is to get these childcare centres up and running as soon as we can,” Ann Sherry said.

“We expect that the first centre, in central Auckland, will be operational early in 2006 with further centres in Wellington and Christchurch. Additional childcare centres in other locations are also being considered.”

“Westpac had a history of listening to staff and responding to their concerns wherever possible with practical, flexible solutions,” Ann Sherry said. “Our market-leading parental leave policy also came out of staff feedback.”

“Both initiatives are about keeping hold of good people, and deepening Westpac’s commitment to becoming a great place to work.”

ENDS

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