eir, Ireland’s leading telecommunications provider, has today announced the introduction of a number of new policies designed to assist employees at times where they may need additional support. eir will become one of the first companies in Ireland to provide both a Fertility Policy and a Pregnancy Loss Policy, alongside the introduction of other supports relating to Menopause and Domestic Violence.
eir’s Fertility Policy supports employees who are undergoing fertility treatment, acknowledging the difficulties employees face during this time. Irrespective of gender, eir will now offer three days paid leave to assist those who are undergoing or recovering from treatment and enabling them to attend appointments.
eir is also launching their Pregnancy Loss policy, which has been designed to support employees and partners who have been impacted by the loss of a pregnancy. This is available to staff, irrespective of gender, and employees will be able to avail of five days’ paid leave, in the event of pregnancy loss either experienced themselves or through a surrogacy pregnancy.
Speaking today on the launch of these policies, Thérèse Gavin, eir’s Director of Human Resources; “I am proud to launch these policies for our employees. We know, particularly after this last year, life can throw us many challenges and appreciate that help during these vulnerable times can make all the difference. With the introduction of these policies, we will continue to support our employees and hope that stigma and taboo surrounding these topics can be removed and promote a culture of openness.
I would like to thank the many expert agencies and our union, CWU, who have helped eir in the creation of these policies.”
In addition to the introduction of eir’s Fertility Policy and Pregnancy Loss policy, eir has also introduced a number of other policies to support employees.
This policy has been designed to support employees who are experiencing the menopause and perimenopause, to help them feel comfortable in discussing their symptoms and encourage them to seek support. It aims to create awareness and a workplace environment that supports employees during this time.
Helps employees by creating a safe environment where individuals can discuss their circumstances, while providing flexibility, including paid leave, to mind family members, attend meetings and assist them in getting the help and support they may need.
Women’s Aid Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Benson added: “Women’s Aid commends eir for this important internal policy initiative. Recognising the role that employers can play in contributing to safety, support and empowerment of staff who may be subjected to abuse is a critical part of a whole community response to combat Domestic Violence. We know that implementing policies and procedures for domestic abuse by employers can contribute to reduced risk of victims/survivors giving up work, to increased financial security and also feelings of solidarity and support at a time when they may feel completely isolated and alone.”
Emma DeSouza, Women in Leadership Coordinator, National Women’s Council: “The National Women’s Council welcomes and commends eir for this suite of inclusive and compassionate internal policies. Taking a more generous and progressive approach that recognises the complexities and challenges faced by women, and indeed all employees, is a positive step in creating a fair and equal workplace. Amid increased caring responsibilities during the Covid-19 pandemic, evidence suggests that many women have had to either leave the labour market, or are downshifting their careers. As a result, companies risk losing women in leadership – and future women leaders – unwinding years of painstaking progress towards gender equality. Taking positive and active measures to ensure women are empowered to progress their careers is never more needed, the advancement of these policies at eir are a prime example of how companies can create a more equitable workplace.”
Helen Browne, Co-founder of the National Infertility Support and Information Group (NISIG), added: “NISIG is delighted that eir have launched their fertility policy for their employees. As acknowledged by eir, infertility can have an impact on people both physically and emotionally. It also can have a financial burden on many people and this can be more difficult for them when they must take unpaid leave, especially if they have to travel for appointments /scans. Sadly, fertility treatment can be unsuccessful for 50% - 60% of people and this grief can be devastating.
For them and their partner to have paid leave for a day or two to grieve the pain of the loss of parenthood would be invaluable emotionally. NISIG dearly hopes that other companies will follow suit and show that caring for people undergoing fertility treatment can have a positive effect on their employees which in turn can be productive for the company they work for.”
eir strives to maintain an environment where people can bring their whole selves to work, speak about their experiences and where employees can continue to develop long and rewarding careers. The introduction of these extensive policies are in addition to eir’s Surrogacy Leave, Adoptive Leave and Transgender policies that were introduced in 2016.