Asda to Associates: Be Fruitful and Multiply

Sep 02, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Asda, the UK-based division of Wal-Mart, is giving company associates paid time-off for in vitro fertilisation (IVF), according to a report on the Personnel Today Web site.

The company made the decision to offer the program after receiving numerous requests from staff. Under the plan, women employed by the retailer are eligible for five days paid leave. Men get one-and-a-half days off.

Asda’s people director, David Smith, said, “Both morally and from a business perspective we believe that this is something that is needed.”

Mr. Smith said that in the past, associates going through the in vitro fertilization process would take unscheduled time-off, creating scheduling holes and increased workload for staff on hand.

Asda made its announcement to coincide with England’s Work-Life Balance week.

Moderator’s Comment: Two questions–

  1. What are your thoughts on Asda’s paid leave for
    in vitro fertilization?

  2. How well do HR policies recognize and respond to
    the work-life balance issues of employees?

Asda’s new policy is a practical response to modern day

The decision by many couples to put off having children
to later in life increases the likelihood women will need in vitro fertilization
to become pregnant.
Anderson – Moderator

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