Vilnius-based Omnisend approved a decision expressing equal support for diverse families, regardless of their family model
Diversity and inclusion is reaching an increasing number of organizations: on the International Day of Tolerance, celebrated November 16th, Vilnius-based startup Omnisend approved a decision that expresses support for diverse families and offers equal benefits for all employees, regardless of their family model.
“Tolerance is understanding that other people can be different from us, recognizing that they can live their lives differently and that their choice deserves respect. It is one of the values essential to developing a safe and progressive organization today,” says Rytis Laurinavičius, co-founder and CEO of the email & SMS marketing company.
The benefits provided to employees in Lithuania are defined by the Labor Code. It specifies the conditions under which employees are entitled to holidays and time off, and how they are to be paid. Some of the benefits defined by the Labor Code are intended for families with children and only the child’s legal parents or guardians can use them. This includes parental leave.
As of now, same-sex parents in LGBTQ+ families cannot get any legal status in Lithuania, and therefore they cannot use the privileges provided to so-called traditional families.
With today’s decision, Omnisend aims to ensure that all employees’ families, regardless of their model, can use the family-friendly benefits provided by Lithuanian laws. “We want all children growing up in families to receive as much time and attention from their closest relatives as possible, and our employees to know that their private lives are respected,” says R. Laurinavičius.
Aligned with company values
R. Laurinavičius, who has been leading Omnisend for 10 years, says that the decision is in keeping with the open-minded nature of the company:
“Since the first day, we have clearly and consistently communicated our values to employees and partners, emphasizing that we do not tolerate discrimination on any basis. As a result, I can safely say that openness is in the genes of our organization. We are strongly committed to the safety and well-being of our employees. Today‘s decision is another step in this direction.”
One of the more complicated questions for companies that want to offer wider benefits to employees is how to make sure that the right people apply for them and the benefits are not misused.
A possible way suggested by lawyers is to request documents proving marriage or the birth or adoption of a child. Omnisend decided against this, and will not require employees to submit any documents to receive these benefits.
R. Laurinavičius explained: “Our team consists of really mature and conscious people, they usually take into account the interests of the whole community and do not abuse the benefits offered. We have no reason to believe that this time will be different, so employees who cannot get a legal relationship status or who have decided not to do so will be trusted.”
It is worth reminding that Omnisend won the “Startup of the Year” title at the Vilnius TechFusion Startup Awards last year. This year’s startup awards, organized by Vilnius City Tourism and Business Development Agency “Go Vilnius”, Lithuanian Startup Association “Unicorns Lithuania” and “Sunrise Tech Park”, will take place on January 11, 2024.