Virgin Media O2 launch series of measures to increase diversity, equity and inclusion

clock • 3 min read
Virgin Media O2 launch series of measures to increase diversity, equity and inclusion

In addition to measures to amplify the voices of those currently under represented, the company has launched a series of best-in-class leave polices to support employees when it matters.

Virgin Media O2 launched in July 2021, combining the UK's largest and most reliable mobile network with a broadband network offering the fastest widely-available broadband speeds.

The company's purpose is to upgrade the UK, not just through its leading gigabit broadband and 5G connectivity but also by the type of company it wants to be and the role it plays in society. Virgin Media O2 is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive company for its 16,000-strong workforce where everyone can be their whole selves at work and thrive.

In April 2022, Virgin Media O2 introduced a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) strategy called All In to become a more equitable and inclusive company.

This includes ambitions to increase representation for gender and people from minority ethnic communities across the business by the end of 2027.

This is also supported by the company rolling out Equity Sequence™ training to more employees. The training is a series of five simple questions to help ensure the company's projects, policies, and decisions are equitable and are created with everyone in mind.

Virgin Media O2 is also working to help meet the needs of all its employees and to ensure they feel valued and heard. It has established six employee networks representing the LGBTQ+ community; gender; disabled people; people who are neurodivergent; unpaid carers; and underrepresented ethnic groups.

To further support its employees, Virgin Media O2 has also launched a series of new best-in-class leave policies to ensure its employees can take time away from work and be there for their loved ones when it counts.  This includes:

  • 26 weeks' paid Maternity or Adoption Leave, and 14 weeks' paid Paternity Leave to any new parent
  • 12 weeks' paid neonatal leave to support parents whose babies are born prematurely or sick, and require neonatal care shortly after birth
  • Up to 10 days' paid leave for those who have experienced pregnancy loss
  • Five days' paid leave for unpaid carers
  • Up to five days' paid leave to help employees deal with emergencies at home or to help them support their family

Bereavement support

In addition, Virgin Media O2 has introduced a new bereavement policy with up to 10 days' paid leave to support employees who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

The company developed the new policy and a new managers guide alongside employee, Harley Cunningham, who provided advice and her experience of loss following the tragic passing of her two-year old son, James, who died suddenly following an asthma attack in 2021.

Harley has also created the ‘Hug-in-a-Box' care package which will be sent to employees experiencing loss in the early days of bereavement. It has practical support such as food vouchers, a guide of things to consider when planning a funeral, and details of charities which specialise in helping people though grief.

Harley has been recognised for her significant contribution and is nominated at this year's Women in Tech in Excellence Awards in the ‘Outstanding Returner' category.


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