Navigating through life and our careers can be a difficult balancing act. We recognize the challenge that every team member may experience when starting a family or taking care of family members in need. We want each member of our team to be able to care for their families and newborns without fear of being economically or socially penalized.
The Covid-19 environment brought with it additional challenges arose; working remotely, being in quarantine, having kids at home 24/7 requiring their parents’ attention, sick family members and friends, all exacerbated the hardship of balancing family and career. BayWa r.e. wanted everyone to be able to focus on their number one job: taking care of themselves and their families.
We implemented a family leave policy in 2019 that provides three months of paid time off for both women and men, to support them in caring for a new addition to their families including by adoption, and to care for ailing family members.
To offer additional support for our team members during Covid-19, we extended our family leave policy to provide coverage of a reduction in working hours or a temporary leave of absence for individuals as necessitated by Covid-19. This included coverage for parents needing to take care of children without access to other childcare, and individuals needing to take care of themselves or family members with health complications caused by Covid-19.
Both mothers and fathers have availed themselves of family leave to bond with their children, and team members, in particular those with school-aged children, have utilized our Covid-19 extension. Since we implemented this policy, 7 out of 63 full time employees have used it. When leave came to an end, each of these team members returned, and some of them even took on more responsibilities when they did so. Employee engagement is profoundly impacted by the psychological and emotional safety team members experience at work, and providing an avenue to support the balance of work and family, rather than putting this responsibility solely on the parents, helps the team feel secure and more productive.