TishTash Communications, an independent integrated marketing communications agency headquartered in Dubai, with offices in Saudi Arabia and the UK, employs 48 women in its fully female workforce. As part of the agency’s commitment to understanding and supporting the healthcare needs of women in the workplace, from 1st March 2023, all team members will be given paid leave for fertility and menopause treatments and other women’s health-related matters.
Paid leave for fertility treatments including egg freezing
With the numbers rising for those requiring fertility treatment to 1 in 5 couples, TishTash recognises what a challenging time this can be – and that factors such as stress around work, taking time off, and juggling the fertility journey medical requirements, can make all the difference.
The TishTash policy will provide paid leave for staff to attend medical appointments while undergoing fertility treatment, both inside and outside of the country, including those wishing to do egg freezing. The time off is flexible and unrestricted, as the company cannot assume to know what people will need and will take into account the physical and mental load that comes with undergoing such treatments.
Paid time off and support for Miscarriage, Menopause, and Menstruation
The latest research shows that menopause symptoms are forcing women out of the workforce, with nearly 1 million women have left the workforce due to unmanageable symptoms. With TishTash having more than 10 of its team aged 35 – 45 within a wholly female workforce, the agency wanted to create a culture where is it open and safe to talk about both menopause and menstruation, in general, to prevent losing valuable experienced talent.
TishTash is offering all team members support as follows as part of their new policy:
- Up to six days of menopause (and menstrual) leave per year, which is not part of the employees’ personal or sick leave.
- The option to work from home where possible to prioritize comfort.
- No requirement for medical certificates from women taking time off to manage symptoms.
- 10 days leave off work if the pregnancy ends before 24 weeks
In addition to paid leave for the team, the agency is including fertility and menopause education in its comprehensive training and development programme. IVF Support UAE recently held a session for the agency and all team members have been offered egg-freezing consultations if something they wish to learn more about. Information sessions with leading experts in menopause are also planned this year.
TishTash CEO Natasha Hatherall said she has gone through the process of fertility treatment herself, and having been in the fortunate position to take the time she required as the business owner, she wanted to extend this to her team and create a genuinely supportive environment for her employees.
This is the latest policy change from the agency that specializes in health and wellbeing and that prides itself in its people-first approach. The agency was one of the first to launch a 4.5-day working week in July 2021, as well as a truly flexible and hybrid working policy, including the option for all teams to apply to ‘work from their home country’ for up to 4 weeks each year and extended maternity leave options.