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Divorce in the workplace Action Points for Employers

a couple in an office setting going through divorce

Divorce in the workplace can be a tumultuous period for employees, impacting their performance and well-being. As an employer, it’s essential to offer appropriate support and ensure a compassionate, legally compliant work environment.

Here are key action points to consider:

Acknowledge the Issue:

Understand that divorce is a significant life event that can impact an employee’s work. Furthermore be prepared to address it sensitively.

Respect Privacy:

Always handle discussions about an employee’s divorce with sensitivity. Ensure confidentiality and let the employee take the lead in sharing information.

Understand Legal Frameworks:

Familiarise yourself with the Equality Act 2010 and other relevant laws to ensure you’re supporting your employees within legal boundaries and protecting their rights.

Offer Practical Support:

Inform employees about leave policies, financial planning services, or legal assistance benefits. Provide resources that can help them navigate through their divorce.

Implement Flexible Working Arrangements:

Allow for flexible work hours or remote work to enable employees to manage personal commitments, such as legal appointments or childcare.

Adjust Workloads:

Consider temporary reassignment of tasks or reducing workload to alleviate pressure on the divorcing employee.

Provide Additional Leave:

Be open to offering extra paid or unpaid leave to help employees deal with immediate demands related to their divorce.

Promote Well-being Support:

Make counselling services or employee assistance programs available to offer emotional support.

Ensure Open Communication:

Create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their needs and concerns related to their divorce without fear of judgment or professional consequences.

Equip Managers:

Provide training to managers on handling sensitive personal issues like divorce in the workplace, ensuring they can offer compassionate and confidential support.

Be Proactive and Observant:

Monitor changes in the employee’s performance or behaviour and offer support and resources proactively.

Document Interactions and Adjustments:

Keep records of discussions and any adjustments made to the employee’s work arrangements to ensure clarity and accountability.

By implementing these action points, employers can effectively support their employees through the difficult period of divorce in the workplace, whilst promoting a caring, supportive, and productive workplace.

Looking for more information on this topic please see our recent newsletter article

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Angela Clay

A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.