Saga is the first company to offer paid leave to grandparents Business

Saga became the first UK company to offer grandparents paid leave for the birth of a grandchild.

The insurance company and cruise line for the over 50s offers its 2,500 employees a week of paid leave to celebrate the birth of their grandchildren. Saga will also open its nursery to grandchildren to help staff who are already working grandparents.

The move follows a survey of its staff that showed a quarter found it “difficult” to balance work with childcare commitments. It has been linked to research from the University of Oxford which found that involving grandparents could “dramatically” improve a child’s well-being.

Grandparent advocates have said the introduction of the benefits “also makes good business sense” – the latest in an intensifying “war for benefits” among companies fighting for the benefits. retain their staff.

Justine Roberts, Founder of the Gransnet website, said: “Employers who recognize that their employees have relationships and responsibilities outside of work will reap the rewards of increased employee loyalty and well-being. “

Firms in the UK have followed in the footsteps of those in the US by offering non-cash incentives to workers to address fears of a shrinking talent pool.

Atom Bank introduced a four-day week with no pay cut. Staff will work 34 hours instead of 37.5 hours per week and will be off Monday or Friday. The city’s stock broker finnCap is offering its employees an unlined vacation starting next year – a move it says is part of a campaign to prevent worker burnout.

And LinkedIn closed its offices for a week in April, allowing its 16,000 employees to be absent. Nike did the same at its Oregon headquarters in August.

A study from the University of Oxford of more than 1,500 children between the ages of 11 and 16 found that grandparents could increase children’s ability to cope with friends and family problems by up to 10%. improve their academic performance and behavior.

Jane Storm, Head of Human Resources at Saga, said: “It is also a symbol of the importance of older workers to their business and society. Working lives are getting longer, but the first question many people over 50 still hear is “when are you going to retire?”

“We want to change that mindset and show that age is not a barrier to continued professional success. As a purpose-built company, we have a responsibility to build a representative and multigenerational workforce, ready for the future, that meets the needs of our customers.

“Our clients are mostly over 50 years old and we want to have more colleagues here who reflect the community we serve. We also believe this idea should be a key attraction for retention and recruiting. “

People over 50 are the fastest growing demographic in the UK. Some 27.9 million people will be over 50 by 2030 in the UK.

The number of over 50s in the labor force is also increasing, accounting for 42 percent of all workers, down from 31 percent twenty years ago. Seven in ten (71%) people aged 50 to 64 are employed.

Shelley Whittam, who works in Saga’s insurance department, plans to take a week of paid leave later this month. She said: “I am so excited to be able to spend a week with my new grandchild and help our family care for the children at such an important time.

“As a parent I have experienced this myself and have an experience that I hope will help my child to learn about parenting. It’s great that Saga recognizes this and the vital role grandparents play in family and society.

The Oxford study found that a growing number of grandparents are getting involved with their grandchildren, with more than half attending school events, offering advice or discussing future plans.

Julia Griggs, one of the study’s authors, said grandparents could fill a void left by busy parents who might have less time to care for their children.

“Grandparents have always been involved in supporting the next generation, but it is possible that grandparents provide more support and have a greater influence on the future of their grandchildren than in the past.” , she said.

“A trend towards greater involvement of grandparents may be the result of broader social and demographic changes: longer, healthier lives; participation of mothers in the labor market; large number of children living in single-parent and blended families.

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This notice was published: 2021-12-09 06:00:00

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