MetLife Australia responds to its own research with extra staff leave

MetLife Australia has announced it has expanded it’s employee benefits program by gifting permanent employees and fixed-term contractors three days of additional annual leave* to be taken during the break between the Christmas and New Year public holidays.

The move, designed to encourge employees to take a break and recharge over the holiday period, helps to promote a healthier work-life balance after MetLife research revealed this still remains the major challenge facing Australian employees and employers.

The MetLife Employee Benefit Trends Study 2019 surveyed over 300 employers and more than 1,000 employees to better understand how employers can attract, engage, and retain the best talent through their benefits offerings.

The findings revealed that more than half of Australians feel stressed at work between half and all of the time, but the work itself is not always the source of that stress. While personal finances was the highest ranked source of stress, 24% of employees surveyed said family commitments was a key factor.

Alex Sosnov, Head of Talent, Asia Pacific and Head of People & Culture Australia at MetLife said:

“The holiday period can be a stressful one, especially if you’re trying to spend quality time with family and friends and your mind is still on work. Year-end can be a quiet period in some industries and many employers have forced business closures over the break where employees must use their leave accrual. By gifting our employees with three additional days of annual leave, to be taken over the year-end break we are sending them a message to focus on family, friends and recharging without forcing them to take a break out of their own pocket.”

“I think we’re going to see more and more Australian businesses get creative with their benefits offering, particularly when it comes to flexibility and leave policies. And it’s a win-win because the research consistently shows employers that help their teams achieve work/life effectiveness and respect their lives outside of work, have a more productive and engaged workforce, which will lead to greater profitability in the long term.”

The research suggests emerging benefits programs can help employers meet the growing demand for employees “whole selves” to be supported in the workplace. The vast majority (88%) of employees said they would prefer to work for an employer that is known for respecting their out-of-work lives and that, in turn, having work/life balance makes them more productive (78%) and more engaged (76%).

Companies are expected to take into account the unique circumstances, values, backgrounds and perspectives of their workforce to deliver indivualised benefits at scale. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, benefits in the form of flexible work schedules, additional paid and unpaid leave, as well as company-wide communication blackout periods for mental health are becoming more popular.

And with a third (32%) of employees saying additional paid time off or annual leave is a must-have benefit (the third highest ‘must have’ benefit), more Australian businesses should be considering their leave policies in the benefits mix.

By updating employee benefits schemes to adapt to this change and implementing policies which provide employees with the time and freedom to take a break and tend to their personal needs, there can be substaintial gains in employee satisfication.

Media Contact

Sarah Kelly                                                   

MetLife Australia                                   

+61 (0)411 893 890

* The additional leave is on top of the standard four week annual leave entitlement.

About MetLife

MetLife Insurance Limited (MetLife), an affiliate of MetLife, Inc., is a specialist provider of life insurance to affinity partners, superannuation trustees and employers in Australia. MetLife has expertise in designing and executing direct insurance programs for partners’ customers and insurance solutions to meet the needs of specific member groups. MetLife has been a specialist provider of life risk insurance products in Australia since 2005. For more information, visit

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit