More than one in five of Zurich’s 4,500 employees in the UK are set to benefit from a new HR initiative introduced by the insurer following the national lockdown announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday.
“With schools closed, working parents will be frantically trying to juggle their jobs and childcare responsibilities,” said human resources head Steve Collinson. “We already offer flexibility for employees who want to change their working hours or structure some days differently. But for parents trying to balance work, childcare, and home schooling, this may not be enough.
“We’re helping our employees get through this crisis by offering mums and dads paid time-off so they can look after their health and their family. This is also available for anyone with other caring commitments.”
The ‘emergency lockdown leave’ will allow Zurich UK workers to take an additional 10-day fully paid leave while primary and secondary schools are shut. The new leave credits can be taken either individually or consecutively, with the goal of assisting the firm’s staff in balancing work and caring responsibilities.
Known for its family-friendly culture, Zurich already offers other benefits such as equalised company enhanced elements of maternity, paternity, and adoption leave. The insurer also provides additional support for families whose children are born prematurely, as well as paid leave for those with miscarriage and for employees going through the process of in vitro fertilisation.
Flexible work arrangements have also been in place even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.