News from the Ethical Corporation CSR conference last week in Hong Kong is that Microsoft (MSFT) is providing three-day paid leave to employees who undertake volunteer work of benefit to the community.

"Through our partnership with government, industry and community organizations, we want to make a lasting and positive contribution to the communities in which we work," Microsoft Asia Pacific general manager Oliver Roll said at the Corporate Social Responsibility Conference organized by Ethical Corporation which opened this week in Hong Kong.

With a headcount of approximately 6,000 in the region, Microsoft Asia is committing up to 144,000 hours of employees' time a year for community outreach as part of its continuing effort to contribute to the social and economic well-being of the community in which the company does business.

"Not only do our employees work hard every day to make Microsoft a successful business, but they also contribute their time, expertise, and personal resources to many of our citizenship efforts. We wouldn't have achieved so much in this area were it not for their generosity," Roll said.

More than 500 Microsoft employees in Australia, China, Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippine and Singapore have participated in 30 community outreach activities in the last 8 months.

To date, Microsoft's volunteer policy is now being implemented in 16 regions in Asia including Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam and New Zealand.

In China, Microsoft employees conducted IT career development workshops to university students working at the CTCLs at the Beijing Xicheng District Library.


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