The East African Breweries Limited (EABL) has started giving female employees up to six and a half months of paid leave to grieve the loss of a pregnancy, making it the only company in the region with such a provision, giving others a run for their money.
Interestingly, the leave also extends to male employees whose spouses lose a pregnancy. This eliminates the complaints from a section of Kenyans who felt that men would be at a disadvantage. Employees of both genders will get to benefit from the leave provision.
EABL says it has classified pregnancy loss as bereavement and is giving female employees or spouses up to 10 working days of paid leave if the pregnancy loss occurs before 20 weeks. This is tailored towards making sure that the employees heal and become productive again.
“We recognize that experiencing pregnancy loss is a grieving process that requires patience and time,” says EABL, which had 1,408 employees by the end of June. “When pregnancy loss occurs after 20 weeks, the carrying female can access up to 26 weeks while the spouse can access up to 10 working days of paid leave.”
The pregnancy loss guidelines were created alongside Diageo’s Spirited Women’s Network resource group and sit alongside a suite of employee support that include guidelines focused on gender identity and gender expression, menopause, and domestic and family abuse guidelines.
EABL is currently considering introducing an expanded compassionate leave that will extend to covering employees who lose close friends, just like its parent company.
Employees also have access to up to five days for the loss of another family member and one day for a close friend or non-family member.
“We want to provide employees with greater context, understanding, and knowledge to compassionately navigate sensitive circumstances,” says Diageo.