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Published: 8 Jun 2022

Macfarlanes LLP – Winner 2022, Best for Mothers

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Macfarlanes’ commitment to creating a family-friendly workplace where everyone can thrive is reflected in the initiatives and practices they have introduced, the success of which is evidenced by their impressive retention rates, showing Macfarlanes is somewhere mothers want to build their careers.  

Policy support for mothers 

A dedicated HR contact is allocated to support mothers throughout their parenting journey. A parental transition coaching programme provides support to parents and line managers of parents. 

There are a range of flexible working arrangements available to help employees balance work and family responsibilities, including part-time, compressed hours, job-shares, remote working and term-time hours, with 15% of women at the firm working flexibly. 

Fertility treatment and leave policy supports those undergoing treatment with three days leave per treatment cycle and a range of support including counselling. For those who have 12 months continuous service, maternity pay is enhanced to full pay for 26 weeks. The promotion process applies to women on maternity leave and managers are given tools to ensure a successful return to work, including discussing a flexible return to work, reviewing objectives and reverse handover of work.  

To meet the need for unexpected leave, six paid sessions are provided a year for emergency leave for children up to the age of 18, which is reflective of Macfarlanes’ understanding of the needs of mothers in later stages of parenthood.  

Additional support for mothers  

There are multiple networks offering support. The Balance Network is a forum for all employees including parents who are managing careers and home lives, which enables discussion and the exchange of the information and ideas to achieve a positive work-life balance. The Parental leave network is formed of parental leave returners who support new parents by sharing their experiences, including a welcome back lunch and buddy support over 12 months. Employees also have subscription access to various parental networks such as Cityparents and Work, Family & You which provide online seminars and ongoing support for employees with children up to the age of 18. 

Success stories  

Sharing stories is seen as a valuable tool in improving long term retention rates of mothers. A communication platform enables parents to share stories and raise awareness, including a podcast where women in senior positions speak about returning to work after children and progressing in their careers which can have a positive impact on retaining talent.  

The success of the initiatives in creating a working environment that supports working mothers is evident in that in 2021 82% of mothers were still in the workplace one year after they returned from maternity leave. 

This award was sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada

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