Zurich offers parents and carers paid emergency lockdown leave

In response to the latest national lockdown restrictions, Zurich UK has offered staff with childcare emergencies two weeks’ paid leave to help them balance work and childcare or other caring commitments.

The insurer says this will benefit more than one in five of its 4,500 UK employees.

The additional 10 days’ paid leave, which can be taken while primary and secondary schools remain closed, may be taken individually or consecutively.

Steve Collinson (pictured), Zurich’s head of HR, said: “With schools closed, working parents will be frantically trying to juggle their jobs and childcare responsibilities. We already offer flexibility for employees who want to change their working hours or structure some days differently. But for parents trying to balance work, childcare and home schooling, this may not be enough. We’re helping our employees get through this crisis by offering mums and dads paid time-off so they can look after their health and their family. This is also available for anyone with other caring commitments.”

Zurich has implemented a number of measures since March 2020 to ensure the well-being of its employees:

• Free antibody tests for all 4,500 UK staff, their partners and anyone over the age of 18 living at their house.

• Car park season tickets refunds for all employees until the offices open again, at the company's expense

• Option to reduce pension salary sacrifice for the year

• Option to sell holiday back to the company

• The provision of additional free office equipment to ensure safe and effective working from home

• Launch of a well-being hub which includes Babylon, a virtual GP provider for all staff and families

• Reduced childcare vouchers to just £1

• Emergency loan of up to £750 per person available 72 hours following approval

• Access to Lifeworks which includes access to advice and counselling, well-being assessments and coaching programmes

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