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Companies sign up to support staff going through divorce

Lily Walton
January 30, 2023

Some of the UK's biggest companies have signed up to a new initiative to support members of their team who are going through a separation.

The initiative comes on the back of a survey by the Positive Parenting Alliance (PPA) which found that 90% of respondents said their work performance was impacted when they went through a divorce, and 95% said that their mental health at work had suffered.

The companies who have signed up to the scheme include Asda, Metro Bank, NatWest, PwC, Tesco, Unilever and Vodafone who between them have almost 600,000 employees in the UK.

The movement is looking at introducing more family-friendly HR policies for employees who are going through a divorce or separation in the family home. These include recognising separation as a 'life event', signposting employees to where they might find support and making sure parents going through separation are offered flexible working to help them to manage childcare during the period of change.

James Goodman, People Director for Tesco UK & ROI, added: “At Tesco we recognise the impact that separation and divorce can have on our colleagues. We are proud to support the Positive Parenting Alliance to make this experience a little more manageable for colleagues by signposting helpful resources for them and encouraging managers to be as accommodating as they can be, to support colleagues during such times.”

The survey also found that:

  • 74% of employees said they were less efficient at work during their separation
  • 39% felt they had to take time off work
  • More than 11% stopped work entirely
  • 52% felt they might lose their job or thought about leaving
  • 9% said their employer had specific policies or support for employees going through separation or divorce.