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Divorce leave

Many companies are pledging to change their HR policies, treating divorce and separation the same as a family death or illness. For many, the breakdown of a relationship can have a devastating impact on their lives.

The Positive Parenting Alliance (PPA) (a group of organisations and individuals who believe that children deserve a positive experience during parental separation or divorce) is promoting companies to have more family friendly policies for people going through divorce and separation. Asda, Tesco, Metro Bank, PwC and Unilever have already signed up to the initiative.

According to the PPA’s survey (Jan 2023), 90% of employees admitted that a marriage breakdown impacted on their ability to do their job, with 95% reporting that their mental health at work also suffered.  Over 40% felt they had to take time off work as a result of their separation and over 10% stopped working altogether.

Currently there is no legislation in place which compels employers to offer divorce leave.  Many companies are changing their HR policies to recognise divorce and separation as a ‘life event’ but there is no change in the law in this respect.

Employers will have many questions eg. will any leave be paid or unpaid? There is no legal right to paid leave for significant life events.  This decision is entirely down to the employer.   If the leave is paid, this could raise questions where lengthy divorces are concerned and could place a burden on employers.

Supporting employees however, with paid time off to attend court hearings or counselling can be beneficial to both employer and employee in supporting and helping the employee to rebuild their lives, get  back on their feet and help to feeling positive.

We can help…

If you would like to review your HR policies, please contact Lisa on 01926 491181. If you have an employee or know someone who is going through a divorce or separation and needs legal advice, please call Carline, our family lawyer on 01926 354704.

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