Tech retailer Currys has taken a significant step forward in fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment by introducing five new policies. These policies, developed in collaboration with Currys’ National Forum members across the country, emphasise the company’s commitment to the well-being and inclusivity of its employees. One of the key policies is the introduction of gender reassignment leave, alongside other crucial initiatives focused on supporting employees in various life stages and circumstances. The five policies are listed below.
Supporting IVF Journeys
Going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or fertility treatment can be physically invasive and mentally demanding. Recognizing the challenges faced by employees undergoing such treatments, Currys has introduced a paid leave provision. Under this policy, colleagues and their partners will be able to attend up to six appointments related to their treatment per transfer cycle, helping them navigate this transformative journey with the necessary support.
Premature Birth Support
Currys understands the importance of family time following a premature birth. To provide the necessary support, the company has implemented paid premature birth leave. If a baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy, maternity leave will be extended by the number of days the baby was born prior to their due date. Additionally, partners will receive two weeks of compassionate leave, acknowledging their role and the emotional challenges that come with a premature birth.
Recognizing Pregnancy Loss
Currys recognizes the profound impact that pregnancy loss can have on parents. To support colleagues affected by such a loss, including those who have experienced it through surrogacy, the company has introduced a policy granting two weeks of paid leave. This policy aims to provide emotional support and time for healing during a difficult period.
Gender Reassignment Support
One of the noteworthy policies introduced by Currys is the Gender Reassignment Support policy. This policy aims to provide comprehensive support to colleagues who are going through gender reassignment. In recognition of the challenges faced during this journey, Currys offers an additional six weeks of paid leave. This leave can be utilized flexibly for appointments, surgery, and recovery, ensuring that individuals feel supported in every step of their transformation.
As noted by Citizens Advice, if your absence from work is related to gender reassignment, you are protected against discrimination. Based on the Equality Act 2010, discrimination against gender is unlawful. This includes protection during planning, undergoing, or having completed the transition. Absences may be due to counseling or medical appointments. Gender reassignment can involve medical intervention, but it’s not mandatory. It’s about living in a different gender from the one assigned at birth, with or without medical intervention.
Breaking the Menopause Stigma
Currys is committed to fostering open dialogue and understanding around menopause, a natural stage in a person’s life that can often be accompanied by physical and emotional challenges. To achieve this, the company has implemented a Menopause Support policy. This policy aims to improve knowledge and understanding among colleagues and managers, encouraging open conversations and providing practical information on support and reasonable adjustments. By breaking down the stigma surrounding menopause, Currys aims to create a supportive work environment for employees experiencing this life transition.
Currys’ introduction of five new policies, including gender reassignment leave, demonstrates the company’s dedication to creating an inclusive and supportive work environment for its employees. By acknowledging and addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by individuals in various life stages and circumstances, Currys is setting an example for other organizations. These policies not only prioritise the well-being and inclusivity of employees but also pave the way for a more diverse and accepting workplace culture. With these initiatives, Currys reaffirms its commitment to supporting every individual within its workforce and fostering a sense of belonging for all.