MANCHESTER, UK – The UK branch of multinational cereal giant Kellogg’s has come up with a new support policy for employees going through difficulties such as menopause and pregnancy loss, as well as those undergoing fertility treatment. Managers in the company will also be trained to help those going through these struggles.
The new policies would affect 1500 employees in all, working at the company’s head office and two factories in Manchester. Paid time off will be accorded to those who have experienced pregnancy loss or seeking fertility treatment while the needed adjustments would be made to the work schedule of those going through menopause. A free helpline is also available for all staffers undergoing any of the said experiences.
The company says this is a part of their effort to initiate conversations on topics that are often not discussed at the workplace. In a press release issued by the cereal giant, their human resources vice president for Europe Sam Thomas-Berry said, “We want to offer employees increased support for those often-taboo issues. Many people experience these issues, and the impact can be both physical and mental.” He added that these new policies would help improve the equity and inclusion measures by creating a culture where people feel psychologically safe.
People managers at all levels will soon be trained to not just get a deeper understanding of the topics but also equip them to support an employee going through them. The aim is to help colleagues going through the testing times with appropriate workplace adjustments including flexibility in schedule as medical appointments can’t be made around work requirements.
For the loss of a miscarriage, the leave can be availed by the either partner, and even in cases where the loss happens to a surrogate mother. It can be availed without a doctor’s note. Three periods of leave in a year, and a private space to administer any medication or treatment needed will also be provided by the company to staff members taking fertility treatment.
The announcement comes in the wake of an impending vote by members of parliament over whether free hormone replacement therapy should be made available in the UK for anyone undergoing menopause.