We want to be there for our people, even through life’s unexpected turns. That’s why we do our best to help employees adapt to difficult situations. So when Holly’s circumstances changed due to her second child, Esmae, being diagnosed with a hearing impairment at just six weeks old, we were there to support her.
“I was in shock, and didn’t know what to think, or where to turn. I didn’t know the first thing about hearing impairments, or even know anyone with hearing loss,” says Holly, one of our Low Risk Underwriters.
Initially, she considered giving up her career to become a full-time mum. But her line manager, Andrew, suggested flexible working instead. Now, she works three long days (nine hours each), instead of five regular ones. This gives her time to meet the demands of being a mother and a carer.
“Andrew supports me by letting me choose when I need to take time off. I use my monthly one-hour development time learning sign language, and helping the Working Carers Network hub at our Northampton site. I’m also being supported to work flexibly so I can attend the British Sign Language course I’m due to start in September,” says Holly.
“Andrew always makes sure my wellbeing comes first. If there are additional pressures at home, or if everything’s getting on top of me, he gives me extra time to complete things. For any emergencies, I’m free to leave immediately, and then report back later. ”
Holly has also received support from one of our Equality Diversity & Inclusion partners, Northamptonshire Carers . The same group have just awarded us Level 2 of their Carers Accreditation Scheme for Employers, acknowledging the work we do to support our employees.
The results have been positive for all of Holly’s family. Little Esmae is only marginally behind in her development, and now at two years old, is learning to speak and sign. Her big sister also gets involved with the speech lessons, and is learning sign language, too.