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Employers extend support to employees facing divorce challenges

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Organizations’ innovative staff benefits packages to retain talent

The competitive landscape of employee benefits has prompted employers to take additional steps in order to attract and retain their workforce, ensuring that their organization provides a supportive environment. Among the less common but notable benefits being offered is assistance for employees going through a divorce.

According to a report by the BBC, this divorce benefit could encompass various provisions such as paid time off, flexible working arrangements to accommodate meetings and court hearings, as well as emotional and mental health support. Major UK employers, including Metro Bank, NatWest, PwC, Tesco, Unilever, and Vodafone, have collaborated with the Positive Parenting Alliance to advocate for more family-friendly policies that specifically address the needs of employees undergoing divorce.

In the United States, publishing company Hearst launched a divorce benefits program in September 2022 for its 12,000 employees through a partnership with SupportPay – a platform focused on child support management and payments for co-parents. The program offers free therapy sessions and legal assistance to employees, aiming to address the negative effects of divorce on their overall well-being and job performance. Maria Walsh, Hearst’s Senior Vice President and Head of Benefits, emphasizes that separation can significantly impact “how [employees] feel, how they do their jobs, and their overall well-being.”

The repercussions of divorce extend beyond personal matters and can affect an individual’s professional life. A 2022 study revealed that nearly 44% of individuals experiencing divorce agreed that it had a negative impact on their job, career, or work. The study also highlighted that divorced individuals reported more negative moods and lower self-evaluated health compared to those who were married/cohabiting, recently divorced, or divorced for more than five years.

In light of these findings, employers recognize the importance of providing support to employees during this challenging life transition. By acknowledging and addressing the impact of divorce, companies are working towards creating a workplace culture that prioritizes the well-being and success of their employees, regardless of their personal circumstances.

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