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Published: 20 Jun 2019

Royal Bank of Scotland – Winner 2019, Best Family Network

3 Key Points  

  • Global network with 1,250 members provides peer support. 
  • New fertility and loss group with 250 members so far. 
  • Helps ensure line managers apply discretionary polices consistently. 

“A working father approached us for help when his compressed hours – doing five days work in four – was suddenly rescinded. Our chairperson met with the employee’s line manager and challenged their lack of solid evidence and reminded them of the bank’s flexible working policy. As a result, the manager agreed for the arrangement to stay in place.” 

Asma Ali


A global Families and Carers Network with 1250 members – including 250 members of a new Fertility and Loss group – offers peer support, including attending meetings with employees and line managers to ensure discretionary policies are applied consistently. 

RBS’ family network offers peer support for employees. But it also signposts relevant company policies that help colleagues achieve better work life balance – and is proactive in ensuring colleagues receive the support they’re due. 

Many policies are applied at the discretion of individual line managers and members of the network step in, meeting with line managers and senior staff if need be, to ensure polices are applied fairly and consistently. 

The group also supports colleagues about to go on maternity leave including offering ‘buddy’ support from a peer when they return. Training for line managers who are managing people with caring responsibilities is also offered by the network. 

In 2018 a new Fertility and Loss group was set up to provide support to colleagues experiencing miscarriage, the death of a baby or those going through IVF, adoption or surrogacy. They match people with colleagues who’ve been through similar experiences for practical and emotional peer support. 

The network has contributed to increased employee wellbeing, according to staff survey scores. Other staff survey results show the vast majority (84%) of employees feel their work pattern allows sufficient flexibility to meet their personal or family needs while 80 per cent feel senior managers are interested in the wellbeing of colleagues. These are also due, in part, to the work of the network. 

Set up to help retain employees who are parents and carers, as well as attracting more diverse candidates to join the workforce, the network continues to help reform and enhance working culture.