Corporates Should Borrow a Leaf from EABL’s New Maternity Policy

Joanne Mwangi – Yelbert, founder and CEO of PMS Group.

By Joanne Mwangi – Yelbert

I am thrilled to latch on to the incredible strides made by the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) in supporting its employees and fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

EABL, a company that continues to lead by example, has introduced a groundbreaking policy that grants female employees up to six and a half months of paid leave in the unfortunate event of pregnancy loss. This policy sets a new standard for employee well-being in Kenya and the East African region at large. It mirrors the progressive approach of EABL’s parent company, Diageo, which introduced pregnancy loss leave in the UK and Ireland markets an year ago.

What’s particularly commendable is that this leave isn’t limited to female employees alone; it also extends to male employees whose spouses experience a pregnancy loss. This inclusivity demonstrates EABL’s unwavering commitment to its employees.

EABL has aptly classified pregnancy loss as a form of bereavement, recognizing that the healing process takes time and patience. Female employees and their spouses are entitled to 10 working days of paid leave if the pregnancy loss occurs before the 20-week mark. For losses after 20 weeks, female employees can access up to an impressive 26 weeks of paid leave, while their spouses are granted up to 10 working days.

In a business environment where many companies are cutting back on employee benefits due to rising operating costs, EABL’s move is nothing short of inspiring. It reaffirms the company’s dedication to the well-being of its employees during times of adversity.

But this policy doesn’t stop at providing paid leave; EABL’s pregnancy loss guidelines also focus on raising awareness about various types of pregnancy loss and offer invaluable resources and support for employees and their line managers during their time of need. This is nothing short of being amazing!

Additionally, EABL has already implemented flexible working hours for lactating mothers and established nursing rooms, aligning with practices at several other leading Kenyan corporations like Safaricom.

The corporate world in Kenya is gradually recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Companies are increasingly implementing policies that promote equal pay and create a level playing field for promotions.

As a mother, and aware of how many women and men suffer pregnancy loss in silence and without support, I am excited that a new dawn has come where the metal and emotional needs of parents and parents to be come to the forefront of corporate decision making.

We ought to extend support and congratulations to EABL for their dedication to employee well-being and their commitment to setting new benchmark for other corporates to borrow a leaf.

EABL’s initiative not only benefits its employees but also inspires other companies to prioritize the well-being of their workforce. East Africa is indeed making strides, and we should all be proud of the direction we’re headed in.

The writer is the founder and CEO of PMS Group, a PR and Marketing Agency