Insurance firm RSA Insurance has launched a leave policy for carers as of this month, in order to support employees who have caring responsibilities for disabled dependants.
The policy enables those with significant caring responsibilities to take an additional five days of paid leave each calendar year, on top of their usual allocation of 25 days.
According to RSA Insurance, the initiative was introduced to recognise that annual leave is essential for everyone, and can be used to rest and recharge. It also aimed to complement the existing ‘time-out leave’ policy, which enables staff to take a month of unpaid leave for any reason.
The development of the policy was spearheaded by the RSA Families Employee Resource Group, which aims to champion and promote a culture within the business wherein working parents and carers are supported and can flourish.
Feedback provided at Carer Cafes, which are monthly support groups held in offices across the country, helped to craft the policy, along with findings from RSA’s Families’ survey. It found that many employees with caring responsibilities used their annual leave to attend dependants’ medical appointments, as well as assisting with or arranging for the care of their loved ones.
Helen Simpson, co-chair of RSA Families and HR adviser at RSA Insurance, said: “This is such an exciting, important step forward. We appreciate our employees’ generosity and openness in sharing their personal circumstances, which has helped us shape and introduce this policy. We really hope it will have a positive impact on our carer staff, as well as the people they are caring for.”
Last October, RSA gained accreditation as a menopause friendly employer from the organisation Menopause Friendly, 12 months after announcing its goal of attaining this standard.