Scotiabank is supporting employee well-being and workplace inclusivity by aligning benefits offerings across its global markets.

Employees in the majority of countries where Scotiabank operates will see their benefits aligned with the bank’s global inclusive standard within the next five years, towards a goal of aligning benefits in all markets by the end of 2030.

The alignment is part of the bank’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and aims to fill gaps in coverage, with an initial focus on mental health, women’s health and expanded same-sex partner coverage, says Ayman Alvi, the bank’s vice-president of global pension and benefits.

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The alignment is an extension of the bank’s minimum global standard for parental leave, which includes eight fully paid weeks for all parents welcoming a new child, such as adoptive parents, and eight additional fully paid weeks for parents who’ve given birth. The offering was introduced in several Caribbean countries last year and in Canada in 2023; by 2025, it will be implemented in 24 countries, including Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

While most of the benefits changes will take place outside of Canada, Alvi says the alignment will likely prompt changes in Scotiabank’s Canadian benefits program as the bank takes a more global and holistic view of these offerings, such as coverage for fertility treatments and adoption and surrogacy supports.

“When coverage for fertility, adoption and surrogacy was launched last year, it was very focused on the Canadian market. When we’re thinking about it more globally, it’s shifting a little bit so there will be changes happening that will affect Canada, too. . . . Part of what we’re trying to do is address these gaps that exist for specific equity-deserving groups [and] we’ve learned there are specific gaps in Canada as well.”

The wider focus on employee well-being through a DEI lens is also assisting with Scotiabank’s attraction and retention efforts in a challenging labour market.

“We want to differentiate ourselves [and] live out our promises and commitments to DEI and I think this is a great example of that,” says Alvi. “Whether you’re in Canada, Chile or Singapore, we want [our employee benefits] to look and feel the same and we want employees to be able to bring their best self to the bank every day.”

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