Tesco introduces paid leave for kinship carers

Tesco kinship carersTesco has introduced a raft of new family-friendly policies, including paid kinship leave for employees responsible for caring for relatives’ children.

Employees who have obtained a Special Guardianship Order from a family court will be able to take 26 weeks’ kinship leave on full pay.

The retailer introduced the kinship leave policy after employee Taylor Kershaw, who works in Tesco’s employer brand team, raised awareness of the issue after stepping in to become a guardian for her niece. It is one of few UK employers to offer such leave.

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It will also improve its maternity leave and adoption leave policies, from 14 weeks to 26 weeks on full pay. Employees who adopt will also be able to take 26 weeks’ leave on full pay.

The supermarket will also introduce up to 12 weeks’ paid neonatal leave, ahead of the legislation due to come into force in 2025, extend fertility leave to partners as well as birth mothers, giving up to five days’ paid leave per treatment cycle, and introduce paid leave for two weeks for the loss of a baby up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The new entitlements will be introduced in January 2024.

James Goodman, people director at Tesco UK, said: “We have been really focused on our employees’ wellbeing this summer. As well as improving maternity leave for thousands of staff, we have introduced a raft of new benefits to help colleagues strike a healthy work-life balance.

“Relatives who take on the care of a child often feel forced to reduce their hours or even leave their jobs as they try to juggle extra responsibilities, and we wanted to step up to offer kinship carers the same support as employees who adopt a child.”

Tesco recently granted staff the right to request a flexible-working pattern from their first day in the job, ahead of legislation due to come into force next year.