By Rebecca Hall, Group HR Director
It’s no secret that women’s careers are impacted by starting a family, but there are many areas of women’s health and women’s lives that can contribute to a lack of career equity. That’s why today I’m pleased to announce Golin London and Virgo Health’s enhanced gender-neutral, family friendly leave, as well as our newly-updated women’s health policies.
The comprehensive new programme of policies focusses on supporting women’s wellbeing through key life moments, tackling taboos, as well as to helping mothers and fathers to build a more equitable share of the care as they start their path as a family. All policies were carefully developed in consultation with stakeholders from across the business, including our DEI Director and our employee relationship groups for working mothers and the LGBTQIA+ community.
FAMILY FRIENDLY LEAVE
Our new gender-neutral policy on family friendly leave enables parents to benefit from two options for leave, depending on whether you are the primary or secondary caregiver. This policy is inclusive of whether the child may be yours or your partner’s child, adopted, or a surrogate child. We are also enhancing our family friendly pay up to six months full pay for our employees who are primary caregivers, regardless of gender, and 6 weeks paid leave for secondary careers. We’ve mirrored this in our Shared Parental Leave pay.
We also updated our women’s health policies to empower our people to ask for the help they need in key life stages or if affected by women’s health conditions. One in 10 women live with difficult and painful symptoms from endometriosis, 1 in 4 women have left jobs due to feeling unwell due to menopause, and many women don’t feel supported or able to talk up in the workplace about difficult life moments around fertility, pregnancy loss and gynaecological health. Our suite of menopause, fertility, period and pregnancy loss policies, alongside our new partnership with The Eve Appeal which focuses on gynaecological health, aim to help build greater awareness and support for women’s health in the workplace.
Our first new policy focuses on giving those experiencing the menopause the help and time they need to look after themselves, as well as knowledge and education for colleagues and line managers to ensure we collectively know how best to support each other. The policy includes ten additional days paid leave for anyone experiencing the menopause, or for those supporting a friend or family member experiencing it.
We are also introducing a menstruation policy to assist employees suffering from symptoms, or those with conditions such as Endometriosis, Dysmenorrhea, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to name a few. We recognise that this can really impact our employees and our policy allows employees to take up to ten additional days paid leave to take some time out to focus on their wellbeing.
FERTILITY & PREGNANCY LOSS
We are also introducing a fertility policy, offering those going through fertility treatment, or supporting someone going through treatment, ten additional days paid leave. This is alongside a policy offering support and additional time, for anyone tragically impacted by pregnancy or baby loss.
Through our partnership with the Eve Appeal, we also commit to being flexible and understanding, to breaking the taboos that exist around gynae health and creating a workplace that encourages women to attend life-saving screening appointments. To ensure we are raising awareness and guiding colleagues and line managers in how to support each other, each new policy will be accompanied by specific line management toolkits as well as workshops and webinars for employees.