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Published: 26 Jun 2024

Hand in Hand International – Finalist 2024, Best Small Employer

Hand in Hand are putting their values into action with policies designed to advance the gender balance as well as creating a working environment where employees feel valued, trusted and supported, so they can be an employer of choice in the sector.  

Progressive policies 

Hand in Hand’s recognition that men must be supported to play an equal role as caregivers in order for women to thrive has driven their policies. Parental leave is offered at an impressive 20 weeks’ full pay to new mothers or primary caregivers and 13 weeks’ full pay to new fathers or secondary caregivers, which also applies for adoption and surrogacy. Shared Parental Leave is actively promoted. Time off is given for ante-natal appointments. Five days paid dependents leave is available per year.  Hand in Hand are ambitious in being the best in the sector and as such they benchmark their policies against the UK’s largest international development NGOs. 

A flexible approach 

Flexible working is the default way of working, with requests for a variety of working arrangements looked upon favourably from day one. Staff can flex their time around core hours to help parents manage school and nursery drop off, and support wellbeing. Every member of staff has the option to ‘work from anywhere’ for two weeks a year. This was originally introduced during the pandemic to support parents with childcare needs, but can now be taken by anyone, for any reason.  

Leading from the top 

The senior leadership team role model flexible working, and managers receive training on how to best coach and support individuals, including those who work flexibly. Additionally, all staff are given yearly diversity and inclusion training, including training on maternity and carers discrimination, and unconscious bias. A senior leader sits on the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Taskforce specifically  to champion the needs of those with caring responsibilities. 

A family-friendly future 

The success of the measures in place is evident, with a staff survey giving a net promoter score of 96%. Hand in Hand are aware of the need to keep evolving and have a taskforce to build on the progress they have made. Feedback is actively sought through a staff survey and helps shape future plans in this area. Immediate plans for the coming year are to ensure every role advertised is designed to be flexible, and Hand in Hand social events are held within core office hours, so working parents and those with caring commitments aren’t excluded from opportunities to connect with each other.