The Positive Parenting Alliance (PPA) has today launched a campaign to encourage employers to better support employees who are experiencing separation and divorce.
Divorce can be one of the most difficult life events an employee may experience during their career. The process can be incredibly draining and impact an individual's mental health, and in turn their performance at work. However, most employers do not offer any specific support to employees going through divorce.
The PPA is encouraging employers to recognise separation as a "life event", provide better access to flexible working as child care arrangements may change, and sign post employees to other support (such as counselling) that may be available.
So far, businesses such as Tesco, Asda, and PwC, as well as law firms including Mills & Reeve and Boyes Turner, have signed up to the scheme.
There has been increasing emphasis in recent years on employers recognising and supporting employees through specific life changes. Recent campaigns for better support for employees going through the menopause is another example of this. For larger companies, supporting campaigns such as these offer an opportunity to promote their Environment, Social and Governance credentials (the "S" of ESG being concerned with how a company treats people, including their own employees - which we have previously discussed here).
However, for smaller employers, implementing new polices specifically geared towards divorcing employees is not necessary. More general policies on mental health and flexible working, and offering benefits such as counselling, via an employee assistance programme, should demonstrate to employees that support is available whatever the specific difficulty they are experiencing.
Please do not hesitate to contact Ince's employment team for advice on family-friendly and wellbeing focused policies that your business could be implementing.
A survey by the PPA found that nine out of 10 employees felt a family breakdown impacted on their ability to do their job, leading it to suggest employers treat this like any other major “life event”.