- Premier Foods launches new Modern Working Policies to support colleagues going through life-changing health events
- Paid leave available for all colleagues
- Training for 4,000 + Premier Foods colleagues on trans inclusivity and menopause
Premier Foods, one of the UK’s leading food businesses and home to some of the nation’s best loved brands, has launched two new modern working policies designed to support its office-based and manufacturing colleagues going through life-changing events.
Under the new Modern Working policies, colleagues going through menopause, medical treatment relating to gender reassignment or fertility treatment will be able to take paid time off. Leave will not be capped and will be granted to office-based and factory colleagues, on an at-need basis.
To better support and educate its colleagues on these topics, Premier Foods will also provide training for all 4,000 + Premier Foods colleagues on trans inclusivity and support both female and male managers to better understand the menopause, which can affect more than half of a woman’s life[i]. Training will be delivered by the Menopause Experts and will be available to all colleagues.
At the same time, Premier Foods has launched its new Parental Network which aims to support new parents or parents-to-be. Colleagues, as well as their families, will have access to three 1:1 maternity coaching sessions and enter into an optional Buddy Scheme to help them transition back into work after parental leave. Through the network, colleagues can discuss their experiences and challenges with other colleagues confidentially and have access to online training and resources.
David Wilkinson, Group HR Director, said: “As the workplace and our workforce constantly evolves, it’s important that our policies reflect these changes and help us support our colleagues through whatever they may be facing. Last year we launched a flexible working policy under the theme of ‘Modern Working’ and although they’re all different topics within their own right, the launch of our menopause and transgender policies, as well as our new parental network, all form part of a bigger picture, which is to champion modern ways of working. Together, they form part of our wider ambition to create an inclusive place of work, where life events don’t become barriers to people reaching their potential.”
Sarah Robb, Foodservice Channel Marketing Manager at Premier Foods, said: “Not everyone is going to feel comfortable talking about personal issues like the menopause but raising awareness of these major life events and creating an environment where people can if they want to, is so important if we’re to hold on to great talent. I’m currently perimenopausal and before I sought help, it was a really scary time not knowing what was happening to my mind and body. While not for everyone, being able to have an open and frank conversation with my manager about how this was affecting me felt like a huge weight had lifted and if colleagues going through something just as personal feel empowered to speak out, then that has to be a good thing.”
As part of its Enriching Life Plan, Premier Foods is committed to building a diverse, healthy and inclusive work culture which nourishes the lives of colleagues and provides opportunities to develop and grow. As part this ESG strategy, Premier Foods has committed to reaching gender balance in its leadership team by 2030 and believes that today’s launch is an important step towards reaching this goal.
Dee Murray, founder and CEO at Menopause Experts Group, added: “Forward-thinking companies like Premier Foods know how important it is for workers to understand something that will affect a huge proportion of the workforce. Though half of the population will never have to deal with menopause themselves, nearly every man will know someone who is going through it, or has gone through it, though they may not yet recognise it as menopause symptoms. Teaching our colleagues about menopause is vital if we are going to remove the stigma surrounding what is a big part of a woman’s life.”
Last year, Premier Foods introduced a hybrid working model for office-based colleagues which means they can work wherever they choose. More than 800 colleagues can now work where they feel most productive.