One corporation in the United Kingdom has pushed to grant grandparents paid leave in acknowledgment of the role many grandparents play either before, during, or immediately after the birth of a grandchild. Following the birth of a grandchild, Saga, a travel and insurance firm for adults over 50, will reward employees with one week of paid leave.
Saga’s chief people officer, Jane Storm, told The Guardian, “This is about enabling new grandparents to enjoy a great time and play a role in expanding families from day one.” “It’s also a symbol of how vital senior workers are to their organizations and society,” says the author.
Saga is reportedly expanding its onsite nursery to employees’ grandchildren in addition to providing paid leave to grandparents. This is in an effort to support grandparents who already help care for grandchildren. According to The Telegraph, Saga’s new paid leave and nursery policies were developed in response to a study of firm employees that found managing work and childcare obligations “challenging.”
Grandparents frequently assist with the birth of a grandchild, whether by being there at the birth, caring for older children at home, or assisting with care and household duties as parents adjust to having a newborn in the days and weeks after the birth. In many households, grandparents continue to help with child care long after the baby is born.
According to the BBC, a 2020 Bank of Scotland research indicated that moreover 40% of Scottish households rely on grandparents for childcare. Furthermore, the survey discovered that grandparents who help with childcare save Scottish parents an average of £4,000 each year.
Storm told The Guardian that she thought the regulations would help retain current employees while also attracting new ones who reflected the company’s target demographic. “Our customers are predominantly over 50,” Storm told the paper, “and we want to have more coworkers here who reflect the population we serve.” “We also believe that this concept should be a major draw for both retention and recruitment.”
Residents of the United Kingdom are currently entitled to up to 39 weeks of paid maternity leave under current legislation. Parents can also take advantage of Shared Parental Vacation, which allows them to split up to 50 weeks of leave, with 37 weeks guaranteed to be compensated.
In contrast, the United States lacks a federally funded paid family leave program, which means that most parents — and probably most grandparents — are unable to take advantage of this benefit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 23% of civilian employees had access to paid family leave in March. President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which would establish a nationwide paid family and medical leave program, has stagnated, partly due to opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin.