This Company Just Introduced Grandparent Leave

Becoming a grandparent just got even sweeter.

Grandparents taking care of their grandbaby.

(Rido /

Welcoming a grandchild is a special gift. Now it just got even sweeter. That’s because a firm in the UK has just given grandparent’s a very special benefit;  a week of grandparent leave.

Saga – an insurance and travel company for the over 50 set –  recently introduced grandparent leave for its employees, reported The Guardian. It is the first firm in the UK to do so. Company officials said they initiated the practice in recognition of the role grandparents play in taking care of grandchildren.

“This is about helping new grandparents celebrate a special moment and play a role in growing families from day one,” Jane Storm, the chief people officer at Saga, told The Guardian. “It is also a symbol of how important older workers are to their companies and society.

“Our customers are mostly over 50 and we want to have more colleagues here that reflect the community we serve. We also think this idea should be a key attraction for retention and recruitment, she added.”

The new policy also comes with an additional perk, all of the grandchildren of Saga’s 2,500 workers will have access to the company’s onsite daycare center at its Folkestone headquarters.

Grandparents are playing an important role for grandchildren
Today’s grandparents are doing more than just occasional babysitting. According to Age UK, over 40 percent of grandparents provide regular childcare for their grandchildren and 71 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64 are still working.

Research done by Saga found that 25 percent of working grandparents found it hard to balance work with childcare commitments for their grandchildren according to Mirror.

The UK government discussed changing leave rules in 2018 that would allow parents to split their parental leave with grandparents but it was scrapped. Now it is up to private  companies to implement policies for paid leave for grandparents.

Flexible policies
Saga is not the only company introducing more flexible working rules. Fashion store Asos introduced a range of policies to help employees who were going through health-related issues in October, 2021. This includes taking leave for cancer treatment, fertility treatments, miscarriages, surrogate birth as well as gender reassignment surgery, according to The Guardian.

“All of us face unexpected challenges in life, and sometimes these can create very difficult circumstances which mean we need to step away from or change how we work,” Nick Beighton, CEO of Asos told The Guardian.

Zomato, a company in India, gave women 10 days paid period leave in 2020. In a country where there is a stigma against menstruation, this was a big deal.

Companies that step up and give compassionate or family leave to employees are to be applauded for their efforts. It's good for the companies because it promotes employee retention and for the employee’s overall wellbeing.

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