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OVO Energy announces unlimited compassionate and pregnancy loss leave for all employees

The Business Magazine article image for: OVO Energy announces unlimited compassionate and pregnancy loss leave for all employees
1 February 2023
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Bristol-based energy company OVO is to give its 4,500-strong workforce unlimited compassionate leave on full pay, it has announced.

The company says its industry-leading People Offer encompasses a range of progressive benefits designed to promote employee well-being, flexibility, belonging and inclusivity.

The package sees OVO offer its employees unlimited, fully paid compassionate leave, so they can take the time they need to properly grieve the loss of a loved one, as well as unlimited paid leave for any kind of pregnancy-related loss – from miscarriages to unsuccessful IVF attempts.

Businesses are not required by law to offer compassionate or pregnancy loss leave, so both new benefits set OVO apart in the sector when it comes to leave allowance, says the firm.

Other benefits include paid leave for Moments that Matter, meaning days off can be taken for life’s important moments, such as a child’s first day of school, getting married, or even taking a week to learn a new life skill; and ‘recharge’ leave – extra paid leave granted after intense periods.

Charlotte Eaton, chief people officer at OVO, said: “Grief is experienced differently from person to person, so we feel strongly that we shouldn’t be prescriptive when it comes to compassionate leave, or leave for pregnancy loss. We hope that the offer of unlimited leave in both instances will allow individuals to recharge before returning to work with full support.

"Similarly, we know these past few years have been extremely difficult for everyone, and events such as the pandemic have made many reassess their priorities. Family time and space to reflect is crucial to overall well-being, so we hope the flexible working policy and recharge leave will be equally welcomed by our people.”

Raman Bhatia, CEO of OVO, added: “At OVO, it is our people who are at the heart of the business. Our People Offer demonstrates our commitment to prioritising the health and wellness of our people, leading the way to support our teams when they need us most.”

 


Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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