Havas introduces new parental, domestic violence and gender affirmation support policies

Havas Group Australia has expanded its support policies across all agencies, Host/Havas, Havas Media, Red Havas, and One Green Bean, in order to cover off a range of scenarios faced by staff planning to start a family.

The group has also implemented a number of policies to support transgender and non-binary staff, of which make up 1.3% of employees, as well as offering support for domestic and family violence.

Chief people officer at Havas, Thierry Lalchere, said: “We understand beginning or growing a family is an important stage in many people’s lives and we are committed to supporting all our people before, during and after that journey. We also know that every journey is unique and so we are also implementing clear policies to both emotionally and financially support our people who are going through the process of gender affirmation. Finally, in response to the increased levels of domestic and family violence in Australia over the period of the pandemic, we are introducing a domestic violence policy with additional paid leave.”

Thierry Lalchere

CEO and chairman of Havas Group ANZ, Anthony Freedman, said that the company’s policies have always endeavoured to be “as possible for the different journeys our employees may be on”.

“We know that exclusion is often assumed unless inclusion is explicit and so we have further articulated how we will support our people on their journeys and we will continue to review, improve and innovate.”

Anthony Freedman

Included in the family planning support, is leave entitlements that cover fertility treatments, pregnancy, adoption, surrogacy and miscarriages. 

The full details of the policies are listed below:

“The Pregnancy Policy means that employees can fit their workday around appointments such as ultrasounds, rather than formally take time off to attend them, while work hours can be adjusted to allow later starts to manage morning sickness. Pregnancy Leave gives primary caregivers an extra two days of personal leave on top of their personal leave entitlements.  

Recognising that up to one in four pregnancies in Australia do not result in a live birth, Havas’ Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage provides at least an additional ten days of paid personal leave for primary carers and five days for secondary carers who experience miscarriage or pregnancy loss.  

For those on a different path to parenthood, Havas provides an additional five days of personal leave for those on an Adoption and Surrogacy journey.   

The Gender Affirmation Policy provides a minimum of two weeks of additional paid leave to support an employee’s gender affirmation journey, access to support and counselling, and affirmation planning support developed in consultation with the employee to best enable their gender affirmation needs in the workplace from beginning to end.   

The Family/Domestic Violence Policy provides two weeks of additional paid leave and any additional flexibility and confidential support required.  

The Family Planning offerings are in addition to Havas’ Parental Leave Policy that offers 12 weeks of paid leave plus an additional week for each year of service for primary caregivers, in addition to five paid ‘stay in touch’ days to allow for continued connection with our parents. We know that the return to work is a huge transition and we pay an allowance of $100 per day up to three days a week for the first 12 weeks on return to work to allow for childcare support, a family member to visit to support, or to support a partner who is spending more time at home to support the transition.”  

Last month, Havas reintroduced its Havas Hustle initiative, this year the focus shifting to levelling playing field, helping women entrepreneurs and founders.

It is led by Havas’ three female CEOs, Virginia Hyland at Havas Media Australia, Laura Aldington at Host/Havas and Simone Gupta at Havas PR (One Green Bean and Red Havas), with the team providing access to free advice and support through meetings with one of 40 different specialists across the group.

This adds to other company-wide policies, including the ‘be together’ scheme, as well as its “Hava-Rest Days”.


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