Last week, our CEO, James Calder was pleased to announce the introduction of our enhanced maternity pay.
“As a business, we are committed to our ED&I strategy and this is just the start. With this policy, our purpose is to support parents to continue to thrive in our business, whilst helping to alleviate some of the monetary burden during their maternity leave.”– James Calder, CEO
“Our recent introduction of this enhanced maternity policy completely encompasses our values, allowing us to ‘do the right thing’ and ‘go home proud’.”– Jaimee Bishop, People Operations Manager
Enhanced maternity pay at Distinct
“Enhanced maternity pay is any form of maternity pay offered by an employer, which provides a new or expectant mother with additional rights.“– Jaimee Bishop, People Operations Manager
If the employee has earned their car allowance benefit, this will continue to be paid as normal throughout this time.
What we offer for working mums: perks, benefits and bespoke adjustments
During this exciting and life-changing period, there are many factors which can also make new parents nervous or overwhelmed. Distinct’s goal is to alleviate some of the financial pressures on our team during this exciting time.
“It’s such a special (and occasionally daunting) time, which hopefully should now be a little easier.”– Jaimee Bishop, People Operations Manager
In the period before taking maternity leave, we will carry out a risk assessment of an employee’s workspace and their day-to-day job. If any risks are identified – such as removable sources of physical discomfort or stress, we will meet with them to discuss ways to erase or reduce these elements. In some cases, we may temporarily amend their working conditions, hours or job requirements, in order to prioritise their well-being.
All of our people are entitled to work from home on a hybrid basis, with the flexibility to attend medical appointments. For those who are pregnant, this includes the ability to take paid time off to attend antenatal appointments. Fathers and/or partners who wish to be involved in an antenatal appointment can also attend up to two unpaid dates for each pregnancy.
We believe that emotional support is also crucial during this time. We pride ourselves on cultivating an inclusive environment, where physical and mental health can be discussed confidentially and without judgement.
Our managers arrange regular one-to-one catch-ups with all staff, wherein employees can discuss both work and personal life. However, for times when extra support is needed, we also have an in-house team of qualified Mental Health First Aiders. For employees who are with us for six months and over, we offer a Bupa private healthcare plan, which includes a mental health support service.
Communication and Keeping In Touch (KIT) days
As part of our policy, we keep parents informed on any news in the business that they may find interesting or that they’ll need to know, such as changes in their team. We’ll also let parents know about social events and other activities that we organise, with an optional invitation for them to join.
Our staff can work up to ten days during their maternity leave, without bringing the leave to an end. These Keeping In Touch (KIT) days can be used to attend training sessions or to stay in contact with their team.
Alongside this, parents are always welcome to visit whenever they wish – and if they’d like, to introduce us to their new family member.
How employers can ease parents’ transition back to work
Upon their return to the office, we offer mothers the following options:
- A return to work lunch. Upon request, they can choose several colleagues to attend and we’ll organise the rest
- The ability to request a £50 voucher as a treat in preparation for their return. This can be used for workwear, a nice relaxing massage, a new phone case with photos of their family, or tickets for soft play
- A private space for breastfeeding or pumping milk
- A photo of them and their baby on their desk and/or laptop
In order to help an employee who is returning from maternity leave, our line managers are given guidance on straightforward steps which we can implement here at Distinct. These steps include, but
aren’t limited to:
- Keeping ‘out of office’ enabled for a few days after their return, allowing them to slowly catch up with emails and updates
- Bringing them back on a Wednesday. Having a shorter week can help them to ease back in, without getting overwhelmed
- Planning for illness. If they have only just returned to work, they may feel awkward about asking for time off. However, it’s likely they or their child might become ill, as unfamiliar environments have lots of new germs. In these cases, it can take a little while to build their immunity back up
- After an extended period away, employees may notice a slight dip in confidence. Their line manager will be available to support and answer questions whenever needed. This can be in their regularly scheduled one-to-one meetings, or in impromptu catch-up chats upon request.
Work with Distinct
All in all, communication is the key to ensuring the support offered is truly helping mothers in your business. At Distinct, we strive to educate ourselves on current economic events and are always on the lookout for ways to support our staff during these times.
Through cultivating a supportive environment where parents can thrive, your business can engage in a proactive way to retain your existing staff and attract new talent. Contact us today if you’d like to seek our advice on ways to support working mums in your business – whether through enhancing your maternity pay or making smaller changes which all add up.