Posted: Wed 3rd May 2023

Co-op offers flexible compassionate leave for all staff

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Co-op has introduced a pioneering compassionate leave policy, aiming to provide better support for its staff during the death or serious illness of a loved one.

The policy offers up to 10 days of paid leave, providing flexibility for individual circumstances and allowing managers to make tailored decisions.

As part of its commitment to creating an inclusive workplace, Co-op has doubled the number of days of paid leave from 5 to 10, while empowering managers to offer additional paid days based on specific situations.

The policy emphasises the closeness of the bond between the bereaved and the deceased, regardless of their relationship.

Claire Costello, Chief People and Inclusion Officer at Co-op, said, “We want to support our colleagues when someone close to them dies or is seriously ill. We want everyone to ask for the support they need and will always handle things as sensitively as possible.”

Co-op has partnered with Cruse Bereavement Support, the UK’s largest bereavement charity, to develop resources for managers and colleagues. These include a support guide for managers, a pack for colleagues affected by grief, and practical guides on topics like returning to work after a bereavement.

Steven Wibberley, Chief Executive at Cruse Bereavement Support, said,

Steven Wibberley, Chief Executive at Cruse Bereavement Support said: “We welcome this news today that Co-op will be introducing a new bereavement leave policy that is more compassionate and flexible for their employees.”

“At Cruse we know just how difficult it can be for many people who have to return to work immediately after the death of someone close to them.”

“Bereavement and grief is an entirely personal experience and this refreshed policy allows for people to take the time away from work and grieve in whatever way they need.”

[It’s my hope that other organisations step up and adopt this important and inspiring change from our colleagues at Co-op, so that more grieving people are treated with kindness and respect by their employees at the times that they really need it.”

Research commissioned by Co-op with YouGov found that 62% of employees think bereavement should be treated as a workplace issue, and 56% say bereavement leave is important.

Co-op’s new policy is part of its wider commitment to supporting bereaved staff members, including campaigning for the Children’s Funeral Fund and providing four weeks of fully paid leave for colleagues who lose a child under the age of 18.

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