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Best Practice Awards

The 2021 Awards are now CLOSED. The shortlist will be announced in late April, and the winners announced at the end of May.

If you are interested in entering the awards for 2022, please register to receive links to the entry forms when they become available.

Register for the 2022 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 twelfth 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 categories for 2021 are:

Best for Mothers 

This award is about mothers at all stages of their children’s lives. We are interested in mother/parenthood from maternity and beyond until children leave home as young adults.

Best for Fathers

This award is about your support for fathers/partners at every stage of their children’s development. We are interested in your support for fathers/partners and how you support the parenting responsibilities of men throughout their careers.

Best for Carers & Eldercare
sponsored by Crown Prosecution Services 

Approximately one in seven of your workforce will be caring for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill. We are interested in hearing about innovative, practical and effective ways of identifying and supporting employees with caring responsibilities.

Best Family Network  

More and more organisations are seeing the value employee networks provide. Networks have been shown to be an effective way to encourage peer to peer support, raise awareness of work-life issues and develop a flexible and inclusive workplace culture.

Best for Mental Health & Wellbeing
sponsored by Hill Dickinson

Employers play a critical role in supporting employee mental health and wellbeing and with the fast-changing nature of work, there has never been a more vital time for organisations to ensure they are supporting the wellbeing of employees. Not simply because it’s the “right thing to do”, but because creating a healthy working culture makes sound business sense.  Working flexibly is often part of the solution. We are interested in hearing about innovative, practical and effective ways of identifying and supporting employees with mental health issues and how you promote healthy wellbeing in your organisation.

Best Innovation
sponsored by Adactus Ltd

Whether it’s a major initiative or one small action which has made the difference, we are looking for examples of innovation in building a flexible, high performance and family friendly organisation. This isn’t about change that had a big impact, it’s about innovation. Your initiative can be about flexible (agile, smart, dynamic) working, support for parents or carers, leave arrangements, communications strategies or childcare or anything else which supports the work-life balance of your employees.

Best for Flexible Working
sponsored by
Find Your Flex Group

Tell us about flexible (agile, smart, dynamic etc) working in your organisation. What we mean by embedding flexible working is when working flexibly is regarded as ‘business as usual’, is taken up by both women and men, is found through all parts of the organisation and at all levels of employee from junior to senior. If you have quantified the benefits to the organisation, perhaps in terms of increased productivity, higher engagement, improved staff satisfaction, impact on gender pay gap, improved retention or savings (in business travel, real estate, reduced absence) please ensure that you explain this fully, including relevant metrics, in your entry.

Best Returner Programme

A returner is someone who has been out of the workplace for an extended period due to caring or other responsibilities. We are interested in hearing from organisations across sectors who have plugged into this large talent pool to help support and encourage people with skills, experience and potential, built up over many years in the workplace back into competitively paid positions.

Best Small Employer
sponsored by ILF Scotland

We want to hear about your approach to family/employee friendly working practices, policies and culture. What was the purpose of creating such a culture and how has this benefitted your employees and your business? What makes you unique compared to other organisations when it comes to supporting employees to integrate home and work life, in particular employees who have family caring responsibilities? What evidence can you provide of your flexible/agile working culture and practices and what difference has it made to your business success? You can enter this category if you employ 100 or fewer employees and have a turnover of less than £10,000,000.

Best Covid-19 Response 

The Covid-19 global pandemic has changed the world of work. Employers have had to make big changes to the location in which their staff work, the flexibility they offer, and the support they provide to working parents trying to home-school whilst still maintaining their jobs. Flexible working has never been so prominent, and it has been a vital time for organisations to ensure they are supporting their employees.

Media Partner – HR Magazine