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Best Practice Awards

The winners of the 2022 Best Practice Awards have been announced.

If you are interested in entering the awards for 2023, please register to receive the links to the entry forms when they become available towards the end of the year. 

Register for the 2023 Awards

Working Families’ annual Best Practice Awards recognise UK employers whose stand-out cultures and practices demonstrate that they deeply understand that all employees perform better when they have some degree of flexibility over when, where and how they work ‒ and that employees will be more productive if the organisation supports their work-life balance.

Now in their thirteenth 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. Read our announcement of the 2022 winners. The winners were be announced on 8 June at an event at Vintner’s Hall, with our official event partners Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions.

The 2022 awards winners

Best for Mothers 
Sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada

     WINNER: Macfarlanes LLP

The judges were impressed by Macfarlanes’ exceptional leave provision, and above-and-beyond level of support including a GP service and a parental network, the success of which is reflected in their impressive retention rates, showing Macfarlane is somewhere mothers want to build their careers.  

Best for Fathers

     WINNER: Wates Group

Wates are worthy winners for their progressive attitude towards flexibility reflected in the innovative policies and practices they’ve introduced, including the One Simple Thing initiative which focuses attention on improving work-life balance. These measures have achieved significant change year on year and have made great strides in shifting a male-dominated sector towards creating fairer, family-friendly workplaces. 

Best for Carers and Eldercare

     WINNER: Phoenix Group 

The judges were impressed by the extensive support Phoenix Group offers, including the generous leave provision of 10 fully paid days and a carers network, which has had a hugely positive affect on carers in their organisation, and their plans to evolve further includes a Carers Champion that will continue to give a voice to carers.  

     COMMENDED: North East London NHS Foundation Trust

The judges felt the Trust provides an impressive level of support which has been proven to be effective by the numbers of staff they are now able to retain. The judges wanted to give special credit to helping to facilitate conversations between employees and managers, through the brilliantly innovative Carers Passport. 

Best Family Network

     WINNER: Bank of England  

The judges had huge praise for the progressive Parents+ network, which has evolved from humble beginnings to have a brilliantly broad scope, offering support to parents and carers throughout their journey, and using their collective voice to affect policy change and influence culture so that everyone feels valued and supported.  

     COMMENDED: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

The judges felt that UnibailRodamco-Westfield’s network was fully inclusive of all family members through the different life stages, which has helped them to foster their family-friendly culture. Special recognition was given by the judges for the organisation acknowledging the hard work done by the network chairs that goes into making such a network a success. 

Best for Mental Health and Wellbeing
Sponsored by Investors in People

     WINNER: Santander 

The judges really embraced Santander’s holistic approach to supporting wellbeing encompassing physical, mental, social and financial health. They felt the introduction of a comprehensive package of support and the utilising of the Mental Wellbeing Network to open up dialogue and change perceptions, gives employees the opportunities to really thrive.  

     COMMENDED: Northern Lighthouse Board

The judges were really impressed at the package of support on offer, going above and beyond for the size of the organisation, and were also able to demonstrate that wellbeing at work had been positively impacted, as had staff retention.  

Best for Flexible Recruitment

     WINNER: Hill Dickinson LLP 

The judges felt Hill Dickinson were worthy winners for not only demonstrating progressive thinking but a measurable impact of their innovative initiatives. In particular the judges were impressed by the Returners programme, which enables them to attract the best talent whilst facilitating a balance between home and work life for those re-entering law.   

     COMMENDED: Slalom

The judges felt that Slalom deserved recognition for their commitment to addressing gender disparity in the world of tech, leading to some really innovative measures and partnerships. They were also impressed by the establishment of an employment advisory board, to drive positive action on employee feedback.  

Best for Flexible Working

     WINNER: SF Recruitment  

The judges felt SF Recruitment had a genuine dedication to flexible working, tailoring roles around individual need. They could also clearly illustrate what a hugely positive difference flexible working has had on reducing their turnover rate, and an impressive increase to productivity, which in turn has given growth a real boost. 

Best Small Employer (SME)

     WINNER: SF Recruitment  

The judges felt that SF Recruitment is a shining example of how to integrate flexible working into a business model. Led by the CEO, the flexible-first approach has proved fruitful both for employee satisfaction, staff retention, and an impressive growth in profit.  

Best for All Families
Sponsored by Fastn

     Wates Group 

UnibailRodamco-Westfield showed a clear commitment to creating an inclusive family-friendly culture that serves families of all types, which is reflected in their holistic leave provision and support through challenging circumstances, that has made a tangible difference to the lives of their employees.  

The judges felt that Wates’s familyfirst culture was really evident in the framework of policies and practices that have been implemented, integrating different dimensions of diversity, which has had a direct and positive impact on their employees ability to enjoy a work life balance.  

Guest Award – Best for Supporting Fertility and Pathways to Parenthood
Sponsored by Fertifa

     Bank of England  
     NatWest Group 

The Bank of England have been recognised for the substantial support they offer to employees and their partners, from counselling to a fertility toolkit for managers, as well as their dedication to tackling the taboo head on and creating a culture where employees can talk openly and feel fully supported.  

The judges felt that NatWest were frontrunners in the range of support offered for fertility treatment, including generous leave provision and financial assistance with costs. Alongside that, there is an extensive support network, buddy systems and counselling – showing that they go the extra mile in supporting those on the parenting journey.  

Full case studies of all our winners, commended organisations and finalists can be found in the case study library.