Asda is to offer staff “Nativity leave” to ensure they do not miss out on their children’s festive school play, following research which showed that one in three working mothers believe the annual Nativity play is one of the top things they cannot miss.
According to its latest “Mumdex” report, which includes responses from 5,500 Asda mothers, working parents are worried about missing out on their child’s key milestones because of work commitments.
Hayley Tatum, Asda’s executive people director, said: “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.
“‘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.”
She added that the scheme would give Asda staff planned, unpaid discretionary time off to attend their child’s school play or to take off time outside normal contracted holidays.
Staff have two options. There is the “me time” flexible working scheme, which offers unpaid, planned time off outside of holidays, or if they do not want to lose pay they can do a shift swap.
Asda said that “Nativity leave” would not just apply to people with children.
If people want to take time off to do their Christmas shopping, see friends or for any other purpose they can take time off and they do not need to give a specific reason.
Asda added that it expects a lot of grandparents to use the time off so they can see their grandchildren over the festive period.