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Published: 20 Jun 2023

Independent Living Fund Scotland – Finalist 2023, Best for flexible working sponsored by Arnold Clark

Independent Living Fund Scotland are devoted to embedding a culture where everyone feels valued and supported through ‘life-friendly’ policies and practices. 

Prioritising wellbeing 

ILF Scotland are cultivating a ‘life-friendly’ culture, whereby roles and responsibilities are clear but employees have choice and control over how and when they work. Technology supports a whenever, whenever approach to work. All staff at ILF Scotland work flexibly, including senior leaders who role model flexible working. Line managers are trained in managing flexible teams. Roles are assessed for flexibility prior to being advertised and flexibility is clearly set out in job adverts.  Measures are in place to ensure that workload doesn’t become unmanageable. The monitoring of overtime, as well as regular wellbeing conversations around health, workload and priorities helps to safeguard against burnout. Mental Health First Aiders help to support employees’ wellbeing. 

Person-centred 

There is a clear desire for employees to feel engaged and trusted, and the integration of home and work life is recognised as being essential to the ability to thrive. There is an emphasis on one-to-one support and career development ensuring the needs and circumstances of employees are heard and respected. Conversations around career development are encouraged. The life-friendly culture is hard-wired into ways of working, with employees able to attend to caring responsibilities and life obligations during work hours. ILF Scotland considers creating this environment as making good business sense as being organisationally agile increases resilience and the capacity to deal with demands in challenging times.   

Evident success 

The approach taken by ILF Scotland is paying dividends in the satisfaction and engagement of staff, with 100% reporting that flexible working enhanced their life and a less than 5% staff turnover in the last 12 months. Sickness absence is lower than the public sector average, despite actively recruiting employees with long-term health conditions and impairments, who account for over 20% of the workforce. As an organisation that works with disabled people, it is seen as a priority to centre life-friendly working in the organisation in order to provide high-quality support to those they are working with to achieve independent living. A measure of success is ILF Scotland have been asked to share their knowledge and experience with other public bodies who want to deliver the same positive impact.  

Graphic for the Best for flexible working category of the Working Families Best practice Awards