Saga, an organisation that specialises in products and insurance for the over-50s, recently announced a policy that the media have termed ‘grandparents’ leave’, in which employees will receive a paid week off to celebrate the birth of a grandchild.
The policy also includes access to Saga’s on-site nursery for the grandchildren of all company employees.
This is a forward-thinking move that recognises the vital role grandparents often play in early years childcare. Research from the charity Age UK shows that two-fifths of grandparents over 50 “have provided regular care for their grandchildren”.
In its report, ‘Family-Friendly Policies: Redesigning the Workplace of the Future’, UNICEF states that “better care for young children, enabled by supportive conditions at work, is not only in the interest of young children and families, it also yields (many) benefits for businesses…”
Now, therefore, could be a very good time to review your organisation’s family-friendly policies and initiatives. While you don’t have to go as far as offering paid grandparents’ leave, could anything be done to make them even friendlier?
Here are some simple starting suggestions.
Ensure there is no discrimination based on pregnancy, parenthood or family responsibilities. While you may feel this is already the case, do your policies actively say so?
Support access to quality, affordable childcare. It may be that opening an on-site nursery is impractical, but could you offer part or fully subsidised childcare instead?
Promote downtime. Your employees may be working from home already, but do they feel they have your explicit permission to ‘down tools’ at evenings and weekends?
Make employees aware of what’s available. Promote your family-friendly policies and benefits, and educate your managers so they can highlight relevant sections where needed.
If you would like further guidance about how to review your organisation’s policies, or introduce culture-relevant family-friendly initiatives, please get in touch with our qualified and experienced team at Viridian HR.
We have also produced a useful hybrid working guide, which you can download on our website.