Havas Launches New Raft Of HR Policies For Gender Affirmation, Domestic Violence And Pregnancy

Havas Launches New Raft Of HR Policies For Gender Affirmation, Domestic Violence And Pregnancy
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

In a move that significantly expands the traditional concept of parental leave, Havas Village Australia (Host/Havas, Havas Media, Red Havas and One Green Bean) has introduced a raft of changes to its family leave policy to support prospective parents on their journey to parenthood.

Going one step further they have also implemented policies to support their transgender and non-binary employees (1.3 per cent of their people), and have also taken a stand on supporting victims of domestic and family violence.

The Havas policies span the gamut of scenarios potentially encountered by those planning a family, with leave entitlements covering fertility treatments, pregnancy, adoption, surrogacy and miscarriage.

Beyond family planning, new leave policies have also been introduced to support gender affirmation and those who may be experiencing family or domestic violence.

“We understand beginning or growing a family is an important stage in many people’s lives and we are committed to supporting all our people before, during and after that journey,” said Thierry Lalchere, chief people officer Havas.

“We also know that every journey is unique and so we are also implementing clear policies to both emotionally and financially support our people who are going through the process of gender affirmation. Finally, in response to the increased levels of domestic and family violence in Australia over the period of the pandemic, we are introducing a domestic violence policy with additional paid leave.”

“Havas Group policies have always endeavoured to be as inclusive as possible for the different journeys our employees may be on. We know that exclusion is often assumed unless inclusion is explicit and so we have further articulated how we will support our people on their journeys and we will continue to review, improve and innovate,” said Anthony Freedman CEO and chairman, Havas Group ANZ.

What the new polices mean for employees 

The Pregnancy Policy means that employees can fit their workday around appointments such as ultrasounds, rather than formally take time off to attend them, while work hours can be adjusted to allow later starts to manage morning sickness. Pregnancy Leave gives primary caregivers an extra two days of personal leave on top of their personal leave entitlements.

Recognising that up to one in four pregnancies in Australia do not result in a live birth, Havas’ Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage provides at least an additional 10 days of paid personal leave for primary carers and five days for secondary carers who experience miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

For those on a different path to parenthood, Havas provides an additional five days of personal leave for those on an Adoption and Surrogacy journey.

The Gender Affirmation Policy provides a minimum of 2 weeks of additional paid leave to support an employee’s gender affirmation journey, access to support and counselling, and affirmation planning support developed in consultation with the employee to best enable their gender affirmation needs in the workplace from beginning to end.

The Family/Domestic Violence Policy provides two weeks of additional paid leave and any additional flexibility and confidential support required.

The Family Planning offerings are in addition to Havas’ Parental Leave Policy that offers 12 weeks of paid leave plus an additional week for each year of service for primary caregivers, in addition to five paid ‘stay in touch’ days to allow for continued connection with our parents.

The return to work is a huge transition, so Havas will pay an allowance of $100 per day up to three days a week for the first 12 weeks on return to work to allow for childcare support, a family member to visit to support, or to support a partner who is spending more time at home to support the transition.

Havas’ Leave Policies are complemented by business-wide wellbeing initiatives including access to a formal wellbeing program provided through Benestar, and the recently announced ‘be together’ scheme and ‘Hava-Rest Days’.

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