Fashion retailer Asos has announced a new influx of policies designed to help those going through health related life events.
The policies went into effect on October 7. With Asos employing over 3,800 people worldwide, the policies aim to reduce stigma around the listed health issues, and increase awareness.
Open to all genders and any circumstances, the policies cover pregnancy loss, fertility treatment, menopause, gender reassignment surgery and wider health related issues such as cancer. Those experiencing health related life events qualify for paid leave. The press release said the aim of the policies was also to break down “the taboos around these issues and taking time off when needed.”
Former CEO Nick Beighton, who announced he was leaving the company earlier this week, said: “All of us face unexpected challenges in life, and sometimes these can create very difficult circumstances which mean we need to step away from or change how we work.”
Under the new policies, ten days paid leave can be taken for those experiencing pregnancy loss - which in itself covers miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy and abortion. The leave applies to both the individual that was pregnant, the partner of that person, and pregnancy by surrogacy.
In terms of individuals going through fertility treatment, five days paid leave is given every cycle, in order for the employee to attend and recover from the treatments. With fertility treatments often being quite difficult mentally and physically, a partner of a person going through fertility treatment is also given the same amount of time off. Asos also said that it will be supportive of any flexible scheduling as needed.
In terms of wider health issues, six weeks of paid leave can be expected. For the menopause, Asos will offer the option to work from home, and the option to take short notice leave.
Beighton affirmed his support for those in need of time off. “We’ve launched these new policies to reassure Asosers that they will continue to be supported, personally and financially, throughout those difficult times.” Beighton left Asos on October 11, with the company citing that it was the right time for him to leave.