Ireland’s largest dairy exporter Ornua’s New Parents Programme supports new parents and their line managers in the workplace. Could it be a new template for Irish firms to follow?

This week it emerged that Ornua, the owner of Kerrygold, one of Ireland’s best-known food exports, is supporting modern parenting through a new programme of supports.

Ornua revealed its New Parents Programme to support new parents and line managers in the workplace. The programme builds on existing leave entitlements and incorporates best in class healthcare coaching for Ornua employees at all levels of the business.

“At Ornua, our ambition is to create an environment where everybody can bring their whole selves to work, allowing everyone perform to the best of their ability”

The programme acknowledges that modern families come in all shapes. To support the needs of employees, Ornua has announced a new partnership with Platform 55 which will provide support for both parents and line managers of parents.

All parents matter

A portrait of young couple with a baby and cardboard boxes moving in a new home.

Platform55 research shows that 62pc of managers do not feel equipped to have conversations around modern family challenges, and this new programme ensures they are supported, consequently better supporting working parents. The New Parents Programme adds to the existing suite of employee supports at Ornua, which include fertility treatment and miscarriage leave.

The New Parents Programme is made up of three workshops; Maternity Matters – Return to Work, Paternity Matters – Balancing Family and Work, and Managers Matters – Leading Modern Families.

  • The Maternity Matters – Return to Work workshop is designed for women just about to return, or recently returned from maternity leave or adoptive leave. The programme will offer tools and tactics to help employees make a confident return to work and empower women to have a fulfilling family life and career. Ongoing support with access to quarterly group coaching will also be available.
  • Paternity Matters – Balancing Family and Work will be aimed at fathers who have recently returned from paternity leave, or who have a young family. The programme will be an action-orientated session that enables new fathers to create a plan – not just for the first few months of their baby’s life, but a deeper dive into how fatherhood fits with their work and home life.
  • Managers Matters – Leading Modern Families has been designed for all people leaders who have parents or soon-to-be parents on their team. The course will outline step-by-step guidance on how to manage each stage of leave so that employees feel supported and engaged. The workshop will also equip managers with the skills to have conversations around modern parenting challenges, as everyone’s family circumstances and challenges vary.

“At Ornua, our ambition is to create an environment where everybody can bring their whole selves to work, allowing everyone perform to the best of their ability,” said Majella Darcy, chief people officer at Ornua.

“We have already established specific supports for our people such as fertility treatment and miscarriage leave and are delighted to introduce further workshops for parents and managers.

“Our hope is that our new partnership with the team at Platform 55 will provide support to ensure everybody strikes the right balance between work and home life.

“We know our people value this and we believe that commitment to programmes such as these can ensure that we retain and attract top talent to our business.”

Main image at top: ; Heloiza Cardeal Fitzmaurice and her daughter, Lorena Mai, pictured at the launch of Ornua’s new support programme for new parents, which is being offered in conjunction with Platform 55. Also pictured are Lisa Melody, Head of Talent Development with Ornua and Michelle O’Keefe, co-founder of Platform 55. Picture: Jason Clarke

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 10 August 2021

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