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Published: 26 Jun 2024

bp – Finalist 2024, Best for Mothers

In the UK, bp’s comprehensive support for mothers at every stage of parenthood reflects their commitment to achieving gender parity and a recognition of the influence role modelling has within the industry. Initiatives help to foster an inclusive workplace that encourages respect for family obligation and understands the potential of diverse teams.  

Progressive UK policies 

From day one in employment, mothers are offered 20 weeks of enhanced maternity or adopter leave at full pay. Employees continue to receive discretionary flexible benefits, such as a car allowance (for some grades/levels) and an annual cash bonus, throughout the leave period. In addition to maternity leave, employees can receive up to 12 weeks of Neonatal Care Leave on full pay should their baby require time in hospital. Mothers are offered coaching sessions and can be offered a period of part-time working (at managers discretion) to transition back to work.  

Toolkits are available to assist managers to support their team with maternity and adoption leave and there is a checklist tool for use before, during and when returning from maternity or adoption leave. An impressive Child Time policy enables any parent to take up to six additional weeks of leave within 36 months of welcoming a child, with full pay and benefits. There is also a recognition of the need for occasional unexpected childcare with subsidized care days and two annual short-notice Time Out days. 

Pro-active support  

A holistic package of support is available for people on the fertility journey, including up to £15,000 assisted fertility treatment, line manager guidance and peer support. During pregnancy, coaching sessions and parental leave toolkits are provided, and on return, subsidised childcare and on-site facilities are available, as well as breastfeeding rooms.  

Initiatives such as a wellbeing allowance of up to £1,500 that can be used for experiences with children, and discounts on museums, children’s products and services promote a family-friendly message throughout the organisation. Family days are well attended. An employee assistance programme service for employees and children from 12 years, and private medical insurance, including access to an online GP and neurodiverse assessments for employees and their immediate family (from 6 years’ old), provides an extra level of support.  

A women’s network supports the development of female potential, and an active Working Families network has executive sponsorship from the CFO, who has shared stories of mothers managing work and life. 

Measure of success 

The success of the initiatives is evident in the impressive retention rates, including 100% after one-year post-return from maternity leave and after the birth of their second child, and 99.7% after five years from the birth of their first child. There is 55% female leadership representation at Executive Vice President level, and there are women on the board with children under 5. Membership to the Working Families network has increased by 142% in the past year.