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Co-op introduces new compassionate leave policy

The Co-op’s new compassionate leave policy is a welcome move that shows that the retailer is trying to put its colleagues first.

It is clear that it recognises how important it is for employees to be well looked after when they are faced with a bereavement or serious illness in their family. The policy is flexible and allows managers to consider further paid leave based on individual circumstances and this is a great way to ensure that employees get the support they need during difficult times.

The Co-op has also made resources available to help staff cope with bereavement and loss, as well as offering support for terminal illnesses. It also allows staff to take four weeks of fully paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 which is an incredibly generous policy and one that is likely to be appreciated by many of the retailer’s employees.

This is another great example of how retailers can show their commitment to their staff. It is likely that other retailers will follow suit, and it is a reminder that recruitment and retention are still key issues in the consumer sector.

Policies such as these highlight that retailers are putting their colleagues first and recognising how important it is that they are well looked after. It also highlights that there is increasing recognition that benefits, wellbeing and culture are a strong way of retaining and attracting employees in what remains a difficult market for talent.

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The Co-op has unveiled a new flexible compassionate leave policy to support its 57,000 staff when someone close to them dies or becomes seriously ill.

The number of days of paid bereavement leave has doubled from five to 10 and the group’s updated policy focuses on offering flexibility so managers can consider further paid leave based on individual circumstances. 

The initiative emphasises the “closeness of the bond”, meaning the relationship with the colleague who has been bereaved does not have to be an immediate family member.”