The ‘LADfamily’ approach
One employer seemingly taking the lead with support for working parents, and those wanting to start a family, is the news and entertainment publisher LADbible Group. The Manchester-headquartered firm - which has the LADbible, Tyla and UNILAD brands, among others, in its portfolio - recently announced a suite of family-friendly policies for its 360-strong global workforce. The new policies, branded under umbrella moniker of ‘LADfamily’, consist of fully paid leave for pregnancy loss, fertility treatment, and a new workplace nursery benefit, allowing staff to recover tax savings on childcare costs in their local area.
Not reactive but strategic
'LADfamily' wasn’t a mere reaction to pandemic changes, though. LADbible Group were already thinking about improving family-friendly policies before COVID-19 hit. In fact, Felicity Rothwell, HR Director at LADbible Group tells myGrapevine magazine that in 2020, the organisation rolled out enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption leave as part of the first stage of strengthening their family-friendly policies. “So [‘LADfamily’] just felt like stage two,” she adds.
In fact, Rothwell explains that 2021 felt like the right time to roll out ‘LADfamily’ because the business found itself in a fortunate position of rapid growth - both in terms of headcount (70 new colleagues have been hired this year) and international presence (offices have been opened in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand). “There was always intended to be a next stage and because of that growth, it felt like now is the right time to launch what we are considering phase two of the family-friendly policies,” LADbible Group’s HR lead added.
Keeping it in the ‘LADfamily’
So, what does the ‘LADfamily’ initiative do? According to Rothwell, the first of the three prongs, paid leave for fertility treatment, is there to give employees time to receive and recover from this treatment, adding that it doesn’t just have to be for the person undertaking the treatment themselves as it also applies to employees who are partners too. “That’s five days paid leave per cycle for up to three cycles,” she adds.
Also under the umbrella of ‘LADfamily’ is the firm’s pregnancy loss policy. Within this, employees are offered a minimum of ten days paid leave if they suffer from a pregnancy loss - regardless of the reason for that loss. “Again, that applies to partners so we want to recognise that it also impacts people who are the partner of people who have suffered a loss,” Rothwell adds.
The workplace nursery benefit is the third aspect within the ‘LADfamily’ policy, which applies to any employee who is putting their child through early years education. “They will get tax and National Insurance (NI) savings so it’s effectively like a salary sacrifice scheme. It’s open to everybody, we’ve communicated it to everybody [and] it has been super well received. [When] employees want to or need to use it, they just approach their team leader, manager or HR team,” Rothwell adds.