We recognise the importance of creating an environment where carers can thrive, whilst having the flexibility to support their loved ones. 

With a fifth of our employees self-identifying as an unpaid carer, we’re proud to have been one of the first UK employers to have introduced flexible paid carer’s leave. The leave, introduced in 2022, allows those with caring responsibilities five paid leave days per year which can be taken as ten half days. 

An unpaid carer is someone who offers practical, emotional support or hands-on care for a loved one, friend or neighbour who is older, disabled, seriously ill, experiencing mental health conditions or addictions. 

In 2023, Virgin Media O2 employees collectively took more than 1,300 paid days off work to support a family member or friend, such as taking them to a medical appointment, helping them with treatment, or providing more practical assistance such as shopping or managing finances.

June 10-14 is National Carers Week in the UK, so we’re sharing some of our people’s caring stories.

Saara’s Story 

Saara Mahomed works as a Customer Advisor in our London Oxford Street store and cared for both of her parents until recently.

“I look after my parents – my dad passed away last July, and my mother suffers from severe arthritis.

“I used my leave when my dad was unwell and had to be taken into hospital at short notice. Having the leave meant that I was more available to liaise with doctors, as well as be able to transport my mum to the hospital if she wanted to see him.

“It’s such a great support to know the company helps in this way. It means my family know they can rely on me.”


Luke’s Story 

Last October, Luke Stallard, our Head of Corporate External Communications, received the unexpected news that his wife was diagnosed with lymphoma. 

“Paid leave has removed a big stress and allowed me to focus on my family at a time when they’ve really needed me. A cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy are scary things to go through – fortunately, paid carers leave has meant that I’ve been around to help my wife through it without having to manage an additional financial stress. 

“When Virgin Media O2 first launched carers leave two years ago, I thought it was a lovely idea, but I didn’t ever expect to use it, least of all for my wife. This experience has shown me we can all become carers and that can happen at unexpected points in our life.” 


Tricia’s Story 

Tricia Brady, a Service Delivery Coordinator in Virgin Media O2 Business, has been caring for her brother Joe since 2020. She’s shared how our paid carers leave policy provides her with the flexibility to continue supporting him. 

“I have worked for the business for almost 14 years and began to care for my brother Joe around four years ago. He’d been highlighted as vulnerable and had a diagnose of early Dementia and was a risk of becoming homeless. Our parents have both passed away, and I made the decision to support him in finding another home, and there starts my story. 

“He’s lost the ability to look after himself, and I provide a 24-hour telephone system as well as in person support. The impact of the five paid days for carers leave is huge.

I can’t afford to buy additional days due to my own circumstances, so this is no longer impedes on my own holiday entitlement. It also means if I need to attend a meeting or doctors/hospital appointments for him, I can arrange to be off for the full or half day.”

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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