The Bank of Montreal is extending paid leave benefits to employees who are reservists with the Canadian Armed Forces.
These employees will receive up to eight weeks of paid leave top-up of their earnings while they’re away for military training and 52 weeks of paid leave top-up to their earnings if they’re on domestic or international military deployments. The bank is also providing 30 days of protected leave to employees with spouses or family members who are reservists.
The enhanced benefits aim to support the financial and mental well-being of employees taking military leave or who have dependants on leave, says Vanessa Lewerentz, BMO’s chief inclusion officer, adding the updated benefits are in line with the bank’s U.S. offerings.
“This policy gives our colleagues greater financial peace of mind, especially during times of military leave, whether it’s extended or not. We want to ensure that our employees who are troops and their families are financially cared for while they serve the country. It’s an opportunity for us to show and demonstrate our appreciation to all the people who serve our country in so many ways, both home and abroad.”
The benefits are also aligned with the bank’s mission to provide equitable opportunities through its ‘Zero Barriers to Inclusion’ strategy, which takes a holistic approach to employee wellness. Its well-being programs are intended to ensure employees can bring their whole selves to work, with a focus on prevention and proactive support. BMO also has a veterans advisory council — an employee resource group where employees who are in — or were in — the military can share their insights and support.
The new leave policies also communicate the bank’s mission to place employee well-being at the forefront of its business practice.
“Managing and coordinating time away from work can be stressful for reservists and their families because of the responsibilities they’re juggling to serve our country,” said Juron Grant-Kinnear (pictured), an assistant corporate secretary and lead of BMO’s legal services division and a Canadian Armed Forces Reserve member, in a press release. “This enhanced policy gives me and my fellow reservists greater financial peace of mind, especially during periods of extended military leave.”