Policies & Benefits
One of the most important ways to create an inclusive workplace is for LGBTQ+ employees is to have clear and transparent non-discrimination policies in place. These should be formally written documents to ensure that employees feel included without having to go to their HR or line manager to questions whether they are included in such policies. Another important way to create an inclusive workplace is to offer equal benefits to LGBTQ+ employees and their families. This includes offering private healthcare and family leave to same sex-couples.
Access to private healthcare is a fundamental aspect of overall well-being and quality of life, and it is especially important for LGBTQ+ individuals. First and foremost, offering equal access to healthcare to all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is fundamental to an equal organisation. LGBTQ+ individuals should not be treated differently when it comes to accessing healthcare.
Despite significant progress in recent years, LGBTQ+ individuals still face discrimination and additional challenges when it comes to accessing healthcare. The National LGBT survey identified that at least 16% of survey respondents who accessed or tried to access public health services had a negative experience because of their sexual orientation, and at least 38% had a negative experience because of their gender identity. In addition to this 51% had to wait too long to access mental health services with 27% worried, anxious or embarrassed about going and 16% said that their GP was not supportive.
With these data points in mind, esynergy have ensured that not only do we provide health and dental insurance to all of our employees regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity but this also extends to our employees immediate family.* In addition to health and dental insurance we also provide a virtual wellbeing service which includes medical, mental, legal and financial wellbeing to all our employees and their immediate family. Our learn from this review exercise was that it is critical to work with your provider to ensure that their policies and procedures are LGBTQ+ inclusive.
Family leave is a crucial aspect of work-life balance for many employees, and it is just as important for LGBTQ+ parents. So, why do the majority of employers family leave policies seems so unfair?
Despite significant progress in recent years, LGBTQ+ individuals still face huge levels of discrimination and additional challenges when it comes to starting and raising families. These additional challenges in the process of starting a family can include the high cost and legal barriers of surrogacy and adoption. By offering inclusive family leave, employers can help alleviate some of these financial and emotional burdens by providing paid time off for both parents to bond and care for their child…just like any other family.
First and foremost, offering equal family leave to all employees regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity is not only the right thing to do but a fundamental aspect of being a non-discriminatory employer. When reviewing our family leave policies we identified that although we did provide more then most in terms of adoption and surrogacy leave benefits, we felt we could do more. We are thrilled to announce that our adoption and surrogacy leave now matches our maternity policy including our generous enhanced pay entitlements for employee tenure.
Put simply, esynergy values and supports all families so we wanted to ensure our policies and benefits reflected this message. In the words of Elvis Presley:
“A little less conversation, a little more action, please.”
*Band 3+ employees