Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

ASOS launches new policies for health-related life events

New policies provide paid leave for colleagues who have suffered a pregnancy loss or are undergoing fertility treatment, in addition to other health-related life events, such as the menopause and gender reassignment surgery.

ASOS, one of the world’s leading online fashion retailers, today announces the launch of a new package of policies to provide crucial support to colleagues of all genders and circumstances going through health-related life events. These new policies provide support to any ASOSer experiencing:

  • Pregnancy loss;
  • Fertility treatment;
  • The menopause;
  • Wider health related life events that require paid leave, such as cancer treatment or gender reassignment surgery.

This new policy framework will enable ASOSers to take the time away from work that they need, while also increasing awareness of the impact of such common life events, and breaking down the taboos around these issues and taking time off when it is needed.

The policies are gender neutral, and apply to everyone regardless of who they are or their circumstances.

Nick Beighton, CEO, at ASOS, said, “All of us face unexpected challenges in life, and sometimes these can create very difficult circumstances which mean we need to step away from or change how we work. We’ve launched these new policies to reassure all ASOSers that they will continue to be supported, personally and financially, throughout those difficult times. We’re here, no matter what it is and every step of the way.” 

Ten days paid leave for individuals that are dealing with pregnancy loss 

ASOS has introduced a policy by which colleagues who suffer a pregnancy loss will be able to take ten days paid leave. The policy covers miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy and abortion and will apply to the individual that was pregnant, to those whose partner was pregnant, or if it was a surrogate pregnant on their behalf, recognising that the impact and grief of pregnancy loss is felt by individuals, couples and families as well as the biological mother.

Additional leave for colleagues undergoing fertility treatment

For ASOSers who are undergoing fertility treatment, or are supporting a partner who is doing so, the business is providing an additional five days paid leave per cycle so they can attend and recover from appointments. Fertility procedures can be highly intrusive and often gruelling, and they can take their toll physically, emotionally and mentally. This leave, which is not limited to any number of cycles, is gender neutral and provides support consistently across all types of family set ups, including individuals, same sex couples, those using donors and surrogacy, so they can focus on their own health and wellbeing away from work. The policy includes, but is not exhaustive to: in vitro fertilisation (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), surrogacy and cryopreservation (egg freezing).

ASOS will also provide ongoing support for appointments and flexible working as needed.

Up to six weeks paid leave for a range of wider health-related and other life events

Recognising that there are various health-related life events that may result in a colleague needing time away from work to recover and recuperate, ASOS is providing colleagues with up to six weeks of additional paid leave for those who need it. These situations, such as gender reassignment surgery, cancer treatment and escaping domestic abuse are often not spoken about openly, despite the impact they can have on a person’s wellbeing and their ability to work.

Flexible working to support colleagues going through the menopause

To support all individuals who are going through the menopause, recognising that it is not just cisgender women, ASOS is offering the ability to work flexibly, take short notice leave or request to work from home. Many people find that the physical and mental impacts of the menopause make it difficult to work in the same way, and this policy will allow them to work in a way that suits them, while reducing the stigma around that time in people’s lives.

The policies will come into effect today.

Earlier this week, ASOS announced its ethnicity pay gap data for the first time, showing median pay for ethnic minority employees is now 5.9% higher compared to their white counterparts, a 21.2% improvement in the overall median ethnicity pay gap since 2020.

The data has been published following the release of ASOS’ new diversity targets set within its new 2030 Fashion with Integrity goals, part of ASOS’ long running corporate responsibility programme aimed at minimising the business’s impact on the planet and delivering positive benefits for people.