CVS Group is providing one week’s paid leave to any colleague undertaking fertility investigations and treatment.
The new fully-inclusive fertility policy is also available to a partner and can be applied to colleagues who have a surrogate.
The policy has been introduced to support colleagues going through fertility treatment and to deal with the impact fertility challenges can have on mental health. Up to one week’s fully paid leave is available in any 12 month period. It is believed to be the most generous fertility policy for colleagues within in the veterinary profession.
CVS Group is also giving a week’s paid compassionate leave to any colleague experiencing pregnancy loss before 24 weeks[i], to support them through one of the most difficult events in life.
Believed to be an industry first, the new policy recognises the devastating impact pregnancy loss can have – and explicitly recognises it as an event which should qualify for compassionate leave. This special leave can be taken in addition to CVS’ normal provision of two weeks company sick pay.
Helen Finney, Group HR Director at CVS Group, said:
“We want all of our colleagues to feel supported through the most difficult events in life.
“We understand the impact fertility challenges can have on mental health. So our aim is to remove the stigma around infertility, enable people to talk about it and ask for support when they need it.
“And our new pregnancy loss policy is not just about time off. We appreciate the challenges around pregnancy loss are often misunderstood. So by having a specific policy we hope to raise awareness, reduce stigma and give colleagues the confidence to share their experiences.”
CVS Group’s new fertility and pregnancy loss policies are being introduced as party of the company’s wider Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) programme, whose strategy aims to address any existing inequities or disadvantages experienced by a colleague demographic group. Other areas of CVS EDI focus include Ability and Neurodiversity, Ethnicity, Gender, LGBTQ+ and Social Mobility.
In February 2023, CVS Group announced it would offer colleagues up to eight weeks full pay in the circumstances of an exceptional health event – including major surgery as part of a gender transition, in what is believed to be a veterinary industry first – as part of a new company sick pay policy.
CVS also offers a significant number of benefits to its colleagues. These include; a health cash plan enabling colleagues to claim back the cost of a range of medical treatments[ii]; a Save as You Earn scheme which allows colleagues to save regular amounts each month over a three-year period and benefit from increases in the Group’s share price over that time; a significant number of staff discounts on CVS products and services; and the support of colleagues’ wellbeing with a 300- strong wellbeing champion network and regular colleague check-ins. The company has also launched a new CVS Refresh reward scheme where teams receive a weekly allowance to spend on tasty treats or fitness classes.
CVS Group operates across small animal, farm animal, equine, laboratories and crematoria, with over 500 veterinary practices, referral centres and sites in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. In the last five years the company has invested nearly £80 million in its sites, facilities and equipment, in addition to industry leading training and support, to give the best possible care to animals. For more information about careers with CVS Group visit www.careerswithcvs.co.uk .