Softworks Blog

Asda offers festive flexibility with nativity leave for busy parents

Posted by Mairead Walsh on Wed, Dec 11, 2013

Yesterday, I got the time and date from my son's school for his nativity play. It's on at 12.30pm next Wednesday afternoon. Not exactly the handiest time for a working mum (or dad). That said I see myself as one of the lucky ones, as at Softworks we have flexible working. So I'll get to hear my 6 year old son say his two lines "Hang on, I'm coming" and "Read the Sign"...He's the Innkeeper and taking his role very seriously! However, some of his friends parents' are finding it a little trickier to slip off for that all important half hour. 

Asda however is supporting busy working parents this Christmas by offering employees ‘nativity leave’ to ensure they don’t miss out on their little one’s starring role in the school play. The festive flexible working option is available to colleagues following Asda’s latest Mumdex research, which indicated that working parents are worried about missing out on their child’s key milestone moments due to work commitments. In face-to-face focus groups with Asda mums as part of the research, one in three cited the annual nativity play as one of the top things they feel they just can’t miss out on.

Hayley Tatum, Asda’s Executive People Director comments; "There’s no doubt working mums have a lot on their plate at this time of year and we don’t want our colleagues to miss out on the things that are really important to them this Christmas.

“Technology might help to take the pressure off busy working parents on a daily basis, but we know that it’s just not the same watching your child’s milestone moments back on a smartphone or tablet. ‘Nativity Leave’ gives parents the opportunity to take time off for the school Christmas play or simply for some much needed family time outside of normal holidays.”

The ‘Nativity Leave’ flexible working policy allows Asda colleagues planned, unpaid discretionary time off to attend their child’s school play or to take much needed ‘me time’ outside of normal contracted holidays.

'"Nativity Leave" gives parents the opportunity to take time off for the school Christmas play or simply for some much needed family time outside of normal holidays.'

Kids Nativity Play resized 600

While the scheme was designed with parents desperate to see their child's play, any staff members can actually take advantage of the scheme. They are allowed the time off for Christmas shopping or seeing family, as they do not have to provide a specific reason for the time off.

Personally I think this is a great scheme and well done to Asda for taking the initiative. Realistically it doesn't cost Asda anything but it's of enormous value to employees so a win win situation for all...

Topics: Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Work-Life Balance, Retailers