Employee Stories from Etihad Aviation Group

About Etihad Aviation Group

As a young and ambitious airline, Etihad is a global family of dedicated individuals from more than 150 nationalities coming together to grow Abu Dhabi as a community and a vibrant tourist destination. Since 2003, we have evolved from a regional carrier into a global aviation challenger. Through creativity and innovation, we are committed to making Etihad an airline of choice for our guests around the world and an employer of choice for our people.

Why is Etihad committed to being a parent-friendly workplace?

We don’t just have a passion for travel, we have a passion for people too.

Our people are at the core of everything we do as a business, and it is for this reason that we have a focus on people-centric policies and practices.

As we move through the final stages of the pandemic, we have taken the opportunity to reimagine the future of work at Etihad to create a more dynamic, personalized and flexible work model.

We also believe that being a parent-friendly workplace will give us the competitive advantage in attracting new talent and retaining exceptional talent for the future success of our business.

Share a parent-friendly workplace initiative that Etihad excels with and the impact it is having on the workplace culture.

Etihad excels at providing parents with flexibility around their work so that they can still focus on the wellbeing and development of their children.

  • We offer the flexibility to work from home on a Friday.
  • We provide non-shift employees flexibility in start times. Employees are able to start their work week at any time between 7 am and 9:30 am.
  • We also provide employees with additional flexibility to manage their working hours. Those working a standard work week are able to complete their working hours by working longer hours during Monday to Thursday, and then working less hours on a Friday.

Where operationally possible, Etihad provides parents of school children with additional flexibility in start times during the first week of school. Those with children in pre-school / kindergarten can have flexible or shorter working hours for the first week of the school year. Those with older children can start work two hours later the first day of school, so that they can either escort their children in the morning or ensure that they are set up for any alternate learning arrangements.

What are some of the business benefits you see from being a friendly workplace?

Our family-focused policies and practices have given working mothers more confidence in returning to the workplace after maternity leave.

The recently renovated nursing room is accessible from the car park and provides a convenient, safe and comfortable environment for working mothers to feed their babies. The proximity of the nursing room to the office ensures that employees can efficiently tend to their baby’s needs and get back to the office with a sense of positivity and satisfaction.

Etihad offers up to 90 days paid maternity leave for women (pre and post-natal) as well as paid leave in cases of miscarriage. Mothers wanting more time with their newborn can extend this leave by 15 calendar days. This extended leave gives working mothers the ability to nurture their babies during these important early months and establish routines without rushing back to work before they are ready. Women are able to take the time they need to prepare themselves for a successful return to work that is considerate of their family commitments.

Employee Stories from Etihad Aviation Group
I am a father of 2 kids (age 14 and age 9) enrolled in British International School Abu Dhabi (BISAD). The sudden grounding of flights due to Covid, forced us to go back to the drawing board and reimagine Etihad 2.0. During the pandemic my role became very critical, as I look after the transformation of Etihad’s workforce planning. While dealing with such high voltage work pressures, I still enjoyed working for Etihad due to its family-friendly, caregiving policy approach. A few of the personal experiences I would like to highlight:

  • Flexible time policy: In 2021, I didn’t allow my kids to travel on the school bus wherein chances of infection were very high. The flexible time policy allowed me to drop my kids to school every morning. Many times in case of sudden school closure, due to positive cases at school, having flexibility allowed me to pick up my kids from school. The policy has also supported me to attend parent teacher meetings.
  • Work from Home policy: During initial distant learning options for kids, I could share the responsibility with my wife by staying at home to oversee the kids, and continue to work. During the close contact tracing period or quarantine period, I could work from home without using up my annual leave. The reduced working hours on Fridays offers the option to work from home.
  • iSave Employee Discount scheme: I get benefits of corporate discounts for BISAD school fees. My family can enjoy discounts for many outlets ranging from restaurants to shopping, etc. My family and I could not have survived the difficult times of the pandemic if it wasn’t for Etihad, and they are very deserving of the ‘Parent-friendly Label’.
I joined Etihad shortly after becoming a mother. As a single parent, Etihad has provided me with the flexibility to work and be a fully available parent, from being able to drop off and pick up my child from school, to being there for their other needs. With family-focused policies, I can confidently say that Etihad is parent-friendly.
Since joining Etihad as a trainee, I was able to find the balance between having a family and starting my career. The Etihad family narrative is not a singular moment but a group of people that continuously showcase what Etihad is, a group of families taking care of each other. I had the privilege of working from home, enjoying the first few months of motherhood, and being able to support my kids, for over a year and a half, during distance learning.
I have 2 children, 6 and 2 years old. When I had my first baby Mahra, I had to apply for 6 months of unpaid leave following the 45 days of maternity leave. It wasn’t easy but it was so important for me to have time with my first daughter until she was able to eat solid food. It was too hard to be separated from her after 45 days of maternity leave.
When I delivered my second baby Omar, it was completely different as Etihad had introduced new policies and flexible hours, and working remotely during the pandemic helped. I had precious time to spend with my child - breastfeeding, teaching him words, colours and spending quality time with both my kids. The flexible hours have also helped me spend quality time with my daughter, being able to drop her off in the mornings.
Our iSave application has supported me with discounted school fees as well as having plenty of offers in kids stores and activities. All these initiatives have helped me personally, not only to have valuable time with my kids but to enjoy lots of activities with good Etihad offers.