Parents working at Organon have been given up to three hours a day to support children in their remote learning activities during the Sydney winter lockdown.
Announced this week by the recently launched women’s health company, managing director Nirelle Tolsoshev told Women’s Agenda the move is part of a number of initiatives created to help staff avoid burnout and stress during this period. The company is supporting 61 staff in Sydney, as well as more across the country.
Tolsoshev told the team there would be no requirement to make up for the time spent on remote learning activities and supporting kids. She also said all staff would be given two hours a day to support their “wellbeing”: to exercise, rest, rejuvenate or whatever else is needed.
These are support measures that come in stark contrast to what other Sydney employers are doing, including the council that asked staff to sign a declaration that they would not be working from home while also undertaking primary caring and remote learning responsibilities for children under the age of eight.
Meanwhile, Organon also says staff will be given time off to get vaccinated. They are being encouraged to take time for themselves during the day to focus on their health and wellbeing and urged to structure their workday in a way that suits their personal circumstances and is mindful of other colleagues. The company has also aimed to shift and shorten meetings and re-prioritise certain types of work.
These measures come at a busy time for the health giant. Organon listed on the New York Stock Exchange last month, having recently been spun off from Merck & Co, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical businesses. It launched with a large portfolio of women’s health products, and ambitions to fill some of the dire gaps in women’s healthcare needs internationally. It has just opened its Sydney-based, Australian headquarters, and is in the process of hiring.
As Tolstoshev told Women’s Agenda last month, for too long the unique and specific health needs of women have failed to be properly recognised, especially given a history of pharmaceutical trials failing to adequately include women up until three decades ago.
“More must be done to improve women’s health,” she said.
“Organon will focus on women’s everyday health needs, including her reproductive health, her unique health issues, as well as conditions that disproportionately affect women. Improving health outcomes of women will benefit all Australians today and into the future.”
On this latest announcement, Tolstoshev said she is particularly proud of their leadership team for taking steps to minimise stress.
“As leaders we need to support our teams and the broader community, to apply empathy, focus on wellbeing and create space for our people to balance homeschooling and work priorities. This is good for our people, and good for the community to keep children learning.”
This is a business that understands the responsibility for children during these lockdown periods should not fall on parents alone, that children are currently being kept home to protect the community.
This is how you support staff and their children during a lockdown.
This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.