Divorce Leave to be recognised by Employers
Divorce can be a life changing event, it not only affects your relationship and family circumstances, but it can also have an impact on your performance at work and to reflect this some major UK employers have pledged to officially recognise 'Divorce Leave'.
Divorce Stress Leave
A wide range of major UK employers have partnered with the Positive Parenting Alliance (PPA) and signed up for a brand new initiative to support staff going through a divorce so that their HR policies could treat it essentially as bereavement leave.
Companies like Asda, Metro Bank, Tesco, Unilever and PwC are among those promoting more family-friendly workplace policies when it comes to divorce or separation.
Divorce solicitor, Emma Kendall, welcomes the initiative:
“Emotionally divorce and separation affects people in lots of different ways and I’ve had clients had to take time off work due to the stress and others breaking down at work, it can be a traumatic life change for many people and there is a lot to consider, so I welcome this change of attitudes in the workplace.”
“Some employers are really good regarding flexible working and perhaps more so now with remote working and understanding what their staff are going through, but some clients actually end up leaving their employment. Divorce and separation come with added uncertainty and changes in circumstances which are major stress and lifestyle points in anyone’s lives coming all at once,” added Emma
“Alternatively, many clients actually have to increase their working hours to manage their financial circumstances.”
Divorce and Mental Health
The PPA found that 9 out of 10 employees said their separation or divorce had affected their working lives and their ability to do their job, with half of those surveyed fearing they might lose their jobs during this time.
Anxiety and mental health are also impacted and the survey revealed that 95% of people going through divorce felt this way, with three-quarters saying they were less efficient at work and 4 in 10 needing time off.
The PPA now hope that employers will play a key role in helping steer their staff through a divorce and incorporate it formally into their HR policies.
“This proposal is about changing the culture around divorce and separation by officially recognising the impact it has on people’s lives,” said Emma.
Divorce Leave Proposal
Under the proposals employers will be asked to:
- Recognise divorce and separation as a ‘life event’ in HR policy.
- Allow access to flexible working to enable divorcing parents to manage school and childcare.
- Give staff access to counselling and support services.
“Every day as divorce solicitors we deal with the after effects on our clients, there are many layers to a divorce and we understand the emotions and upheaval involved; the ending of a relationship, moving home, family and children, finances and everything there is to sort out, it can all takes its toll and an understanding from employer can help enormously and so we welcome this move by the PPA for divorce leave,” added Emma.
How can we help
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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.