GroupM agencies Mindshare, Wavemaker, MediaCom and Essence, have introduced an inclusive flexible public holiday policy that allows staff to recognise the cultural and religious dates that are significant to them.
The move is the latest phase of Strive, GroupM’s Future of Work program and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy to make GroupM a better, more inclusive, place for all employees. It comes following the launch of GroupM’s DEI Charter.
In the first phase, national holidays such as Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday and the Queen’s Birthday, that may not be culturally relevant to all, will be flexible. In Australia, Flexible Public Holidays will also apply to Australia Day and in New Zealand Waitangi Day and Matariki will also be flexible.
Irrespective of religious or cultural belief, all staff can choose to work any or all of the Flexible public holidays in exchange for another day off in the year that is important to them, their culture, identity, or beliefs.
For example, staff might choose to mark another religious holiday or cultural festival like Diwali, Eid, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippor, Lunar New Year, or recognize a national day, or a celebration personal to their beliefs and identity like Pride Celebrations or International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
Aimee Buchanan (lead image), GroupM Australia & New Zealand CEO, said: “At GroupM we are a diverse group of people and we respect different cultures, beliefs and identities. We believe our differences make us stronger. As such, we have introduced this Flexible Public Holiday Policy to allow for all cultures, beliefs and identities to be celebrated equally.
“We want to make sure that our people have a better working experience as we shape the future of media. This is part of that commitment. Many of our people question whether 26th January is an appropriate public holiday to mark in Australia, and many of our people don’t celebrate Christmas and Easter as a religious holiday and would prefer to use the public holidays to recognise other religious or cultural events that are significant to them, their families and communities.”
Under GroupM’s Strive program employees can also take advantage of tailored flexible work plans, Reconnect – an opportunity to take an extended overseas trip to reconnect with family after the pandemic, Explore – a pilot sabbatical program in New Zealand, and the recently expanded gender neutral Parental Leave policy.
In addition to the new Flexible Public Holiday Leave, GroupM already offers all employees five additional half days of leave throughout summer, as part of its Summer Days initiative, staff get their birthdays off and long service is rewarded with bonus leave.
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