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Published: 21 May 2020

Independent Living Fund Scotland – Winner 2020, Best Small Employer

Offering ‘life-friendly’ flexibility to all employees means that ILF Scotland has happy employees and very low sickness absence. This is despite the organisation—which provides financial awards to more than 4,000 disabled people in Scotland and Northern Ireland—actively recruiting people with long-term health conditions and impairments.  

All 52 employees work flexibly, including the charity’s senior management team. All jobs are advertised as flexible.  

Harvey Tilley, Chief Operating Officer, said:

“Flexible working for us is not purely about work hours or attendance patterns. Its a philosophical approach to better understanding the personal circumstances of our staff team and working together to design a work package which meets the needs of the business and the individual.  

“By acting in the early stages to make things work for the individual, in the long term we retain high calibre, highly motivated and loyal individuals. As well as retaining talent and experience for longer, we reduce overall recruitment costs, broil, instability and productivity gaps as we are not trying to back fill or recruit staff all the time.

“Life-friendly working has been absolutely central to both our culture, operational delivery staffing and training.  It has meant that we  have been able to pivot the organisation to respond to the Covid crisis almost overnight, with no disruption to the support we provide disabled people, whilst ensuring we protect our staff and those we work with.”

ILF Scotland offers 26 weeks’ maternity leave on full pay and a further 13 weeks of Statutory Maternity Pay. This is mirrored in Shared Parental Leave. Paternity leave is eight weeks on full pay and the charity is likely to rename this ‘partners leave’ this year. Additional paid ‘dependants leave’ is also available for parents and carers who need it. 

A staff survey from March 2019 shows all employees say flexible working makes a beneficial difference to them and 90% say it enhances their life