The policies, which come into effect from 1 September, will increase the group's previous maternity policy benefits from 16 weeks at full pay to 26 weeks, and paternity benefits from two to four weeks at full pay. It will also introduce policies on fertility and pregnancy loss. Later this year, the network will add policies in support of disability and trans inclusion.
The introduction of more family-friendly policies will be supported by a training and education programme designed for employees and managers.
The new benefits are as follows:
Pregnancy/maternity leave: 26 weeks full pay
Adoption leave: 26 weeks full pay
Surrogacy leave: 26 weeks full pay
Shared parental leave: 26 weeks full pay
A phased “return to work” policy meaning employees can take a gradual approach to their return during the first month back on full pay
Paternity/second parent leave: four weeks full pay
Fertility policy: up to 10 days paid leave for anyone going through fertility treatment and up to 10 days paid leave for a supporting partner
Pregnancy loss: up to four weeks paid leave for anyone experiencing pregnancy loss, up to 10 days paid leave for the partner affected, and two days’ leave for an employee supporting a family member experiencing pregnancy loss
These policies are the latest in a line of Publicis Groupe UK initiatives designed to support employees and ensure that they can progress, irrespective of their background or circumstances. The details will be available to employees as well as candidates during the recruitment process.
Publicis Groupe UK’s chief talent officer, Paula Cunnington, said: “Navigating the challenges of family life while building a career can be difficult, and this tends to impact some groups more than others. We want to ensure that whether someone is a solo parent, adopting a child, undergoing the challenging process of IVF or supporting a partner, they can continue to grow and progress their career across our business. We know these are the things that matter to our employees.”
Earlier this year, Publicis Groupe UK introduced a menopause policy and training to educate employees and raise awareness of the subject.
In January 2021, the company introduced the Publicis Groupe UK Behavioural Charter outlining the inclusive behaviours expected of all employees.
In 2019, it introduced a flexible working policy and its “Headline” programme, which provides employees with access to a range of mental wellbeing resources and support and enables and encourages people to speak up about any challenges they’re facing.
Annette King, chief executive of Publicis Groupe UK, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, business has a responsibility to build back better. I’m committed to creating a working environment where everyone can thrive wherever they come from, and whatever they’re going through. The introduction of these new family friendly policies is the next step on that journey.”
In May 2021, Publicis Groupe UK outlined its equity, diversity and inclusion strategy to build an inclusive culture that actively welcomes and values difference and where diversity and inclusion is a business objective as well as a moral imperative.
The strategy set out four focus areas for 2021, all viewed through an intersectional lens: gender parity; race equity and becoming an actively anti-racist organisation; disability inclusion; and LGBT+ inclusion.
The move comes a few months after one of the group's creative agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi, launched its lauded family policies, which include a £350,000 childcare fund to help relieve employees’ childcare pressures, particularly during school holidays and in gaps when arrangements might be changing.