General Mills implements new childbirth policies

Global food business General Mills has launched new expanded policies for its UK and Ireland employee benefits plan to support families with childbirth, adoption and pregnancy loss.

The policies have been designed to create a more inclusive business, offering broadened shared parental leave that allows new mothers and fathers, including same-sex couples and those adopting, to take up to six months of full paid leave. According to General Mills, it is especially important to enable parents to share care more equally in a system where traditional gender roles are still prevalent.

Other initiatives introduced by the business include allowing flexibility during rounds of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment as part of the recognition that infertility can affect many couples, and offering employee pregnancy loss support, so that either parent will be entitled to up to two weeks of fully paid leave when dealing with the trauma of a miscarriage at any stage of the pregnancy.

Additionally, General Mills has launched a dedicated carers’ policy, which will allow employees who are carers to request up to six months of unpaid leave, in addition to five days of paid emergency leave.

Ben Pearman, managing director of General Mills UK and Ireland, said that by enhancing its parental leave policies, the business hopes to encourage men to take their entitled time off without having to worry about the financial long-term effect.

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He explained that he hopes these changes will continue to drive General Mills’ ambition to be the most inclusive and supportive business in its industry.

“Through policies like these, we want to ensure that we are actively evolving as a company to be more inclusive, especially when it comes to gender parity and levelling the playing field from a gender perspective. General Mills wants to do everything we can to support any of our colleagues through these and other pivotal life events, regardless of whether or not they are the primary carer,” Pearman added.