The scenario below will only be possible if you are working in an MNC. The one I am working in...
Me : "Hey I figured out why we have less leaves here in HK! We have MORE public holidays! Hah! And on top of that we have 1 office shutdown day this year so thats a grand total of 16 days!"
Colleague in SG (CS) : "That's good... We have 11 public holidays here and 5 office shutdown days though..."
Me : "WHAT?!?!"
CS : "Somehow the number of working days in a year is exactly the same for both branches. But leave entitlements are different."
Me : "What the !@#$!%@#!"
CS : "And last I heard they are increasing it to 12-day or 14-day!" *CLICK*
Me : "NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!"
This is really not a matter of being competitive in the market. I suppose it is really down to the willingness of the HR in HK to fight for staff benefits. Will that happen? I don't think so... I know the kind of person my MD is and everything must pass through him before they ever get approved.
HR : "I would like to recommend the increment of starting annual leave from 7 to 10 days."
MD : "What kind of improvements will I see?"
HR : "We will be able to retain more staff and attract better talents. The morale will improve as well."
MD : "Listen here young man. If those staff want to leave then they have no loyalty to the company and 3 days of leave will not make a difference. And who told you we don't have talents? You, as the HR manager, are supposed to train them up to be top-notch sales people. And are you sure giving 3 more days will improve the morale in this company? What if I cannot see results? What's the happiness level now? What if they feel insulted that they don't get 14 days?"
HR : "OK... let's scrap that idea and think about how to cancel the annual D&D so that we can save more money!"
MD : "Good idea! Well done~ You can keep your job! Now hurry along and don't disturb me while I'm reading porn."
And many months later the HR manager left for another company with better benefits, leaving behind nothing but a legacy of abolishing the annual D&D. The above may be a scenario I dreamt up but the truth is, this company used to have annual trips and team outings. And all because of 1 lowly no-life HR manager who wanted to get into the good books of the MD, they were all abolished.
This investigation streak is turning into an obsession but it has taught me alot about how this company came about to become the pathetic state it is in. I also realised that if I stand in the MD's position, I can prevent any motions to change the leave policy in the company. If you're unhappy you leave and I can always employ cheaper. If you're unhappy you don't leave then that means you need this job. In a place like HK, where people will leave for another job which pays HKD500 more, it is very difficult for a HR manager to convince their bosses that this will improve the situation.
So what's the best thing? Just keep it legal~ Lucky 7~