Steps towards compassionate leave during divorce 

Eleanor Rogers
Eleanor Rogers
Employment Team
Furley Page

The Positive Parenting Alliance (PPA) initiative urges employers to treat a separation as seriously as other major life events, and is encouraging employers to implement policies specifically aimed at supporting those going through divorce or separation. Asda, Metro Bank, NatWest, PwC, Tesco, Unilever and Vodafone are among a group of major businesses that have already signed up to offer more support. 

It is widely recognised that a separation or divorce can be akin to a bereavement, so the PPA’s new initiative is an important step towards getting employers to acknowledge the impact of relationship breakdown on their employees.  

Anyone who has gone through separation or divorce will know that it is often a difficult, complex and stressful time and for many who are working during this period, it can understandably have an impact on their performance, especially when the parties are dealing with the settlement financial matters or arrangements for their children. 

Josie Triffitt
Josie Triffitt
Family Law Team
Furley Page

In a recent survey by the Positive Parenting Alliance, 90% of respondents stated that separation affected their ability to work and 95% said that their mental health was adversely affected, while more than half of the workers feared they could lose their job or thought about resigning. However, only 9% of employees said that their employers had a specific policy for separation and divorce. 

In the absence of any such policy, the way that a separating or divorcing individual is treated will depend on their line manager’s approach, which may mean that employees are not treated consistently. Furthermore, in this world of hybrid working, issues such as mental health and wellbeing can be harder to spot. 

Employers can have a huge influence by ensuring that their employees feel supported, which in turn supports productivity and staff retention. The PPA’s new initiative is a positive step in the right direction, and going forward it is going to become more important for employers to put meaningful policies in place to provide assistance and support to staff as they cope with the impact of issues like separation or divorce.

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About Eleanor Rogers

Eleanor is a Solicitor in the Furley Page Employment team who regularly advises on all aspects of employment law.

She has a particular focus and interest in discrimination law and has brought and defended numerous high value/complex discrimination claims. She is instructed by a broad range of commercial clients and individuals, providing advice at all levels, and takes great pleasure in securing a fantastic outcome for them.

About Josie Triffitt

Josie Triffitt is a Solicitor in the Furley Page family law team.

Josie qualified as a solicitor with Furley Page and joined the Family Law Team in January 2022. Josie advises on divorce, financial matrimonial matters, and child arrangement issues.

Josie joined Furley Page in 2019 when she began her Training Contract with the firm. During her Training Contract, she completed seats with the Commercial Real Estate Team and the Dispute Resolution Team. For her final seat, Josie joined the Family Law Team where she gained exposure to a diverse range of family matters.

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