Emma-Louise Fusari knows a thing or two about health, having been a nurse for 21 years....read more
A dad at cloud services provider HTG talks about the support the company has given him and his wife when it comes to fertility treatment.
Jim Sullivan* has suffered for several years from rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia which has in the past affected how much he can work as well as his mental health, but at cloud services provider Howell Technology Group [HTG], he has the support he needs to keep working in a job he loves. He and his wife have also benefited from HTG’s generous policy supporting employees through fertility treatment. “They are a breath of fresh air when it comes to the way they treat their employees,” he says. HTG’s approach was commended at this year’s WM People Top Employer Awards in the Best for SMEs category.
Jim has been working as a cloud consultant at HTG since July 2021. He works remotely which has helped him manage his health issues. “It used to frustrate me when I had a flare-up of my arthritis and fibromyalgia. I wanted to work, but I couldn’t in my last role as my knees were badly affected and I couldn’t get into work. At HTG I can work and they are very understanding about the pain and encourage me to take it easy if I need to. From a mental health perspective that massively helps me,” he says. He is also able to flex around consultant visits and blood tests or picking up his medication with no questions asked.
Jim and his wife have also benefited from the company’s fertility policy. When we speak, Jim is in the Czech Republic with his wife for treatment, using the additional five days leave that the company grants for fertility treatment. He is also able to work from the Czech Republic. Jim and his wife have been given a one thousand pound grant by the company to cover treatment as well as a three thousand pound interest-free loan to help with the cost of the private treatment.
This is their sixth IVF cycle, the first two having been funded by the NHS. “It’s a huge weight off our minds financially,” he says. “Money can be a big stress on top of everything else that you have to face with fertility treatment. This cycle we don’t have that pressure. My wife is more relaxed and that may affect the outcome. I cannot thank HTG enough for their support. I am not aware of any other small business that does this.”
Jim and his wife are the first in the company to benefit from the policy, but even before that he has been very impressed by the care that they have shown the couple. His wife suffers from endometriosis and recently had an operation. Flowers arrived when she went in for the operation. Initially the couple thought they must be from his wife’s employer, but they soon discovered they were from HTG. The CEO rang Jim the day after the operation to find out how his wife was doing. “It speaks volumes for the company,” says Jim. “It may sound cheesy, but it is like a family. They understand that work is important, but also that life is more important – as is family.”
Jim is especially appreciative of HTG’s Head of People & Culture Louise Roughley who, he says, has a genuine open door policy if he needs any support.
Other policies he has benefited from include private medical insurance for the fibromyalgia. His wife is also covered. Recently Jim was suffering regular headaches. HTG paid for his eye tests and a large percentage of the cost of his glasses.
He adds that the support makes him more motivated to work hard for the company, for instance, he recently volunteered to work at the weekend to finish a migration project. “I will go that extra mile because they go the extra mile for me,” he states.
*not his real name
***For information on all the winners of the WM People Top Employer Awards and, crucially, what they do and what impact this has in the WM People Top Employer Awards, look out for our Best Practice Report, coming later this month.