09 December 2021, 08:29
Saga becomes first major UK firm to offer a paid week off work for new grandparents
- Move recognises the important contribution of older workers to their families, to the workforce and to wider society
- Saga research shows that a quarter of working grandparents today find it difficult balancing childcare with work
- The move builds on Saga’s recent rebrand, celebrating ‘Generation Experience’ and is part of a sustained effort to challenge stereotypes about working later in life and to create and celebrate opportunities for older workers
London 9 December 2021: Saga, the UK's specialist in products and services for people over 50, today announces a new policy for its 2,500 colleagues that will give grandparents a week of paid time off from work to celebrate the birth of grandchildren. This is a first-of-its-kind move for a major UK business. To further support working grandparents, the grandchildren of all Saga colleagues will now also have access to its onsite Apples nursery.
The paid week off reflects Saga’s belief in the value of experience in the workplace, alongside a recognition of the role of grandparents to their families and society. It was launched following an extensive consultation with Saga colleagues, as well as research involving 2,500 people over 50. That research showed that a quarter of working grandparents said they found it “difficult” to balance work with childcare commitments, showing the value of policies that start to address this challenge.
Academic research first published in Children and Society also found that grandparent involvement is strongly associated with child well-being and that grandparents may be under-recognised in the policy agenda.
Jane Storm, Chief People Officer at Saga said: “This is about helping new grandparents celebrate a special moment and play a role in their growing families from day one. And it’s also a symbol of how important older workers are to their companies and to society. Working life is getting longer, but the first question many people over 50 still hear is ‘when are you going to retire?’. We want to change that mindset and show that age is no barrier to continued professional success.
“As a purpose-led business we have a responsibility to build a representative, multigeneration workforce fit for the future, that serves the needs of our customers. Our customers are mostly over 50 and we want to have more colleagues here that reflect the community we serve. We also think this idea should be a key attraction for retention and recruitment.”
Recognising the value of experience in the workplace
People over 50 are the fastest growing demographic in the UK and represent a sizeable share of the working age population. 27.9 million people will be over the age of 50 by 2030 in the UK and, according to government data published in September 2021, 71% of people aged between 50 and 64 are in work.
The paid week off work for grandparents is a first step in Saga recognising the value of experience for its business and building a workplace that ensures people over 50 feel their needs are being met.
Shelley Whittam, who works in Saga’s Service Delivery department, plans to take the paid week off later this month. She said: “I’m so excited to be able to spend a week with my new grandchild and help our family with childcare at such an important moment. As a parent I’ve been through this myself and have experience that I hope will help my child get to grips with parenthood. It’s great that Saga recognises this and the vital role grandparents play in family and society.”
Justine Roberts, Founder of Gransnet, also welcomed the new initiative, adding: "We know from Gransnet users just how important it is that grandparents are able to provide much needed support to exhausted new parents - as well as getting the chance to meet the new arrival.
“But embracing family friendly working practices isn't just good news for employees. It also makes business sense. Employers who recognise the fact that their employees have relationships and responsibilities outside of work will reap the rewards of increased loyalty and staff wellbeing."
The paid week off for grandparents builds on Saga’s recent rebrand, focused on changing the way people think about age and showing the positive side of getting older. Saga aims to celebrate “Generation Experience”, discerning, sharp and savvy people over 50 who bring vibrant life experiences to society and represent over a third of the UK population.
According to Saga data, on average its customers feel 14 years younger than they really are, and 82% of the Baby Boomer generation don’t want to be defined by their age.
Notes to Editors
Saga is a leading provider of products and services primarily tailored for customers over the age of 50 in the UK. The Saga brand has been carefully developed over the past 60 years to become one of the most recognised and trusted brands among UK consumers over 50. Saga is synonymous in the UK with the over 50s market and is recognised for its high-quality products and services. These include cruises and holidays, home and motor insurance, savings and share dealing and the UK’s award-winning Saga Magazine.
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