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Published: 26 Aug 2016

Pinsent Masons LLP, Winner 2016, The Centrica Best for Modern Families Award

Key features

  • All employees are able to access family support and work-life policies and 24 per cent of the workforce works flexibly.
  • Flexibility has significantly increased retention – turnover in the corporate team reduced from 30.2 per cent to 17.5 per cent
  • Project Sky addresses gender imbalance at senior levels – de-stigmatising working less than standard hours, removing a culture of presenteeism and promoting flexible working for all.
  • A community focus with Pinsent Masons becoming a sponsor of Stonewall’s education programme.

Pinsent Masons’ approach to modern families is practical, collaborative and has an impressive community focus. From the outset, recruitment messages reflect the company’s aim of encouraging applications from all backgrounds and recruitment suppliers have been told of Pinsent Masons’ diversity and inclusion expectations. There are gender balanced shortlists for senior roles, adverts are placed in specialist diversity publications and there is an annual review of the diversity of applicants.

Everyone can make a flexible working request and the organisation offers a variety of formats for different needs, for example working from home, flexibility across days and school holidays and job-sharing. One in four of the workforce works flexibly.

Through the intranet, Pinsent Masons also offers access to Ageing Works, which provides information and resources about caring for elderly relatives with the aim of saving families time, cost and unnecessary stress.

In 2015, the company launched PM@PM (Parents Matter at Pinsent Masons), a web ‘coaching’ portal for anyone taking family leave, including specific guidance to support people and their line managers. The portal is inclusive of parents in same-sex relationships and parents in their LGBT network were included in the consultation group. The company has issued over 400 licences to PM@PM to parents and line managers since its introduction.

In 2013, Pinsent Masons established Project Sky to address the gender imbalance within senior levels of the firm. They found that women fear they risk falling behind in their career when they take family leave. The company is now de-stigmatising working less than standard hours by promoting the concept that flexible working can be for everyone.

The focus on performance and delivery has raised awareness of new ways of working and improved technology has enabled the company to move away from traditional ‘office hours’ to a more flexible trust-based working relationship. A ‘core hours’ programme was introduced into Pinsent Masons’ corporate team to give lawyers the flexibility to come into the office from 10am and leave from 4pm provided client expectations are met. Staff turnover changed from 30.2 per cent upon introduction in April 2014 to 17.5 per cent by June 2015. Allowing more flexibility in the working day has significantly helped to increase retention.

As part of Pinsent Mason’s commitment to providing an inclusive working environment they have run events to increase understanding of modern families. The LGBT Network and Family Support Network worked together to screen the Stonewall film ‘FREE’ and to host a webinar ‘Living with the Three of Us’.

In 2015, Pinsent Masons became sponsors of Stonewall’s education programme. Members of their LGBT Network received ‘Role Model’ training and now visit schools around the UK to talk about being LGBT and share their personal journey to break down stereotypes and help eradicate bullying.
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