Dentsu adds additional premature and neonatal leave to benefits

Dentsu UK & Ireland will now offer extra paid leave to parents of babies born prematurely or who are critically ill in their first month of life.
All UK Dentsu staff – regardless of length of tenure or whether they are the primary or secondary carer of the unwell baby – are covered by the policy in the UK, which provides them with up to 12 weeks of additional paid parental leave. 
Dentsu said the new policy would support parents of babies who need more than a week of neonatal care after being admitted into hospital up to four weeks old or who are born before the 37rd week of pregnancy. Parents will get a week of additional leave for each week their child is in hospital.

If babies are unwell after 28 days old, Dentsu staff will draw on their existing parental leave.
Parents will also be able to access emotional and practical support both within Dentsu and externally.
Anne Sewell, chief people officer at Dentsu UK&I, said: “At Dentsu, we’re committed to working with our passionate employee networks to create dedicated people-focused policies – going beyond guidance and entitling our people to meaningful support during challenging times. 
“We’re really proud of this important premature baby and neonatal care policy and incredibly grateful to those who helped shape it, including our brilliant parents and carers' network as well as colleagues who bravely shared their stories.”
Each year, more than 90,000 babies are cared for in neonatal units in the UK after being born prematurely or being taken unwell after being born at full term. 
In the past year, Dentsu has also introduced emergency carers, pregnancy loss and domestic abuse policies.
Katie Duance, head of marketing at Dentsu UK&I, added: “Nothing can prepare you for what is to come when labour begins prematurely, and the unique challenges and emotions that time on the neonatal ward will bring – or time away from it when partner leave is up all too soon. The emotional, logistical and financial burdens can be overwhelming. 

“This new policy will make a huge difference to parents experiencing the challenges of having a premature or sick baby – providing them with crucial time and financial security so they can focus on the most important thing together, the health and care of their baby.”
This article appeared in Campaign on September 23, 2022.

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