Reach has announced a number of new and expanded policies to support parents and carers, says the publisher.
They added that new policies include carers leave - up to five days’ paid leave per year to support people with caring responsibilities, as well as neonatal leave - up to 12 weeks’ additional paid leave for either parent if their newborn requires neonatal care.
In several areas, partners have been added to the policies to increase support beyond biological mothers, expanding existing policies around IVF paid leave and pregnancy loss leave. Bereavement leave has doubled to two weeks and all employees returning to work following a bereavement will also have the option of setting up a phased return.
Group HR director Julia Warren commented: “We’re very proud to be able to offer our people these policies, which were created with the whole family unit in mind. Family life isn’t always straightforward and we wanted to recognise that in the support we offer our colleagues.
“However, our commitment to empathy and flexibility does not begin and end with policy. There will always be situations that we haven’t yet accounted for and we are empowering all of our managers to offer all employees the support they need, even if it’s not yet written down.”
Reach’s recently launched colleague network, the Family & Carers network, were consulted as part of the policy creation process.
Deanne Blaylock, regional editor for the South East and co-chair of the Reach Family and Carers network, said: “At the Family & Carers network we welcome the move to enhance and extend the family policies to more people at Reach.
“As someone who’s found herself in the sandwich generation - with both a young child and ageing parents - I am particularly pleased to see the new provision for carers, which is a demographic which can often be forgotten.
“Caring for anybody is a lot and this is a big step in acknowledging this and providing the support that will give people some peace of mind as well as options when juggling work and family.”
In March 2021 Reach also announced a permanent shift to hybrid working and increased flexibility.