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The Calico Group offers additional fertility, menopause and pregnancy loss support to staff across their services

Chief executive of the Calico Group Anthony Duerden speaking at a recent event

The Calico Group has introduced additional support for any of its employees undergoing fertility treatment, suffering pregnancy loss or experiencing the menopause.

The new support will include an additional 10 days of paid ‘special leave’ for staff undergoing fertility treatment. This provision is gender neutral and will also apply to the partners of individuals going through treatment. Crucially, the support will also not be limited to a set number of treatment cycles.

While now an official policy, staff at the Group have historically been supported during these life events. Charlotte Evans, part of the Groups employment and skills service Calico Enterprise, underwent a gruelling 9 rounds of fertility treatment with her partner before becoming pregnant with their first child several years ago. Around the importance of the announcement, Charlotte said, “When you come to work and know you are supported, you can open up share what’s going on for you, and then essentially park it and get on with the rest of your day with some relief from the weight that fertility treatment brings. When you can’t park it, it consumes your whole day. I think the fact that it’s been put down on paper gives it the recognition it deserves and opens the door for people to speak up and get support.

This ‘special leave’ provision has also been extended to those dealing with pregnancy loss. Again, this support will be gender neutral and apply to the partners of those who were pregnant and surrogate pregnancies.  

The Group have also introduced additional support for employees going through the menopause and those who are perimenopausal. Employees will be supported in areas such as flexible working hours, short notice leave requests and working from home where possible.

Chief Executive of The Calico Group, Anthony Duerden said the aim of the support is to ensure the Group “support our people both personally and financially”. The Group, whose social housing service was one of the first the first in the North West to achieve DAHA accreditation, already offer additional leave should staff require support with domestic abuse.

The Group has also made a number of training sessions available to help raise awareness around the topics covered. This includes recent sessions around the menopause to help staff at all levels of the business understand the symptoms and subsequent effects to life for individuals going through the menopause and their families, friends and colleagues.

“We know that our colleagues believe that being a good employer is about significantly more than just pay. We hope that this extra provision helps to ensure that, as a Group, we support our people both personally and financially while ensuring we increase awareness of the impact of significant life events. 

The aim of this additional leave is to support employees when they need it the most. While we hope that colleagues would have been given this support already, we feel it is important to communicate this commitment to all our people. We want to create an environment where those in need of additional support feel comfortable in coming forward to ask for it.”Anthony Duerden, Chief Executive, The Calico Group

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