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Home Employers Best Practice Awards

Best Practice Awards


The 2020 Working Families Best Practice Awards Winners have been announced.

Work-life balance charity Working Families has announced the winners of its prestigious 2020 Best Practice Awards. Now in their eleventh year, the awards showcase and celebrate employers who are offering flexibility for all their people and going above and beyond in their support for parents and carers. 

The Winners for 2020 are:

Best for Mothers 
Sponsored by Arnold Clark

WINNER: Royal Air Force
Given the nature of the RAF’s work and the fact just 14.7% of employees are women, its retention rate for mothers a year after returning from maternity leave is impressive at 82%. Maternity leave includes 26 weeks on full pay. Mothers can attend pre and post-natal fitness sessions and they can apply for flexible working. 

Best for Fathers 
Sponsored by Nationwide

Winner: Aviva
Insurance firm Aviva offers men and women 26 weeks’ parental leave on full pay. Fathers take an average five-and-a-half months off and almost a third (32%) say they work flexibly afterwards. There is a top-down culture of support for fathers taking parental leave, 95% of fathers said their leaders were supportive.

Commended: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield 

Best for Carers & Eldercare 
Sponsored by Crown Prosecution Services

Winner: Nationwide
Nationwide defines a carer as anyone who supports someone who couldn’t cope without them. Employees can self-identify as a carer by adding information to their HR personnel record. So far, 822 people (4.6% of employees) have done this. They automatically receive information about paid and unpaid carer’s leave and flexible working options as well as an introduction to the employee-led Working Carers’ Network, which runs regular events and offers peer support.  

Best for Flexible Working – sponsored by Schroders

Winner: Hill Dickinson
A total of 80% of staff at international law firm Hill Dickinson work flexibly on an informal basis, while one in five employees has a formal arrangement. The company supplies all employees with laptops so they can work in the office or remotely. Line managers are trained to manage flexible workers and vacant roles are advertised as open to flexible working.

Best Innovation (Joint Winners)

Winner: Pinsent Masons
Pinsent Masons has developed a programme to empower and equip working parents and carers so they can support their children to achieve good mental health. The professional services firm recognises the impact poor children’s mental health can have on parents’ own health and performance at work, and it has created a comprehensive programme of staff events, networks and resources to help. 

Winner: Royal Air Force
The RAF has merged HR metrics and information from several sources into one central data repository to provide detailed, current information on the take up of flexible working and parental leave options. It means the RAF now has hard evidence with which to assess its policies, showing where they are doing well and areas for improvement. 

Best Family Network  

Winner: Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s employee network supporting families, parents and carers has more than 1,600 members globally. This includes a sub-network for employees affected by fertility issues and infant loss. The proactive network steps in to support employees where discretionary polices have not been followed appropriately by line managers, but also support line managers in their decision making, and it has influence over the bank’s family friendly working polices. %MCEPASTEBIN%

Best for Mental Health & Wellbeing  

Winner: Crown Prosecution Service
A new Wellbeing Strategy has allowed the Crown Prosecution Service to maintain performance despite a 30% reduction in staff and an increase in highly complex cases. Annual health checks, mandatory training for line managers and a network of Wellbeing Champions who are happy to talk about their experiences are breaking down the taboo around mental health and are cutting staff sickness rates. 

Best Returner Programme  

Winner: UBS
Senior men and women who’ve had at least two years away from work can apply for any role in any location at any time of year through UBS AG’s Career Comeback programme. Returners are recruited directly into permanent roles for the financial services firm and receive high levels of support and networking opportunities to help them transition back to work. By March 2020, the programme had helped more than 150 people – of whom seven were men – back to work and 85% still work for UBS AG.

Best Small Employer  

Winner: ILF Scotland
Offering ‘life-friendly’ flexibility to all employees means that ILF Scotland has happy employees and very low sickness absence. This is despite the organisation—which provides financial awards to more than 4,000 disabled people in Scotland and Northern Ireland—actively recruiting people with long-term health conditions and impairments. 

Read the 2020 finalist case studies