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Published: 21 May 2020

Royal Bank of Scotland – Winner 2020, Best Family Network

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s employee network supporting families, parents and carers has more than 1,600 members globally.  

There is a sub network specifically for employees affected by fertility and infant loss issues. This provides peer support, links employees with charities and ensures staff benefit from policies they might not be aware of. 

The networks aim to support employees and their line managers throughout the family lifecycle and create an environment where people feel they can be themselves at work. 

The network is regularly approached by colleagues asking how discretionary policies can and should be used, and the network will step in to support individuals in meetings with line managers if need be. 

The judges were particularly impressed with the network’s influence on company policy. The network has secured an automatic right for mothers to have a phased return from maternity leave. Previously each woman had to apply and get approval individually.  

The network also challenged the bank’s maternity pay package, which previously provided 12 weeks on full pay but now offers 24 weeks for employees with 26 weeks continuous service at the qualifying week. Furthermore, anyone who is placed at risk of redundancy now have the ability to defer their redeployment period for up to 37 weeks, (from 11 weeks before expected week of childbirth/ adoption, to 26 weeks after birth/ placement, and with line manager discretion to extend to the end of maternity/adoption/ SPL),   thanks to input from the network. 

Other successes for employees include the launch of a new app to match colleagues with mentors, which was set up by the family and carer network along with the bank’s women’s network. More than £12,000 has been raised for charities and several global staff events have been launched, such as for Baby Loss Awareness Week and International Men’s Day. 

The network is now looking to expand its regional hubs, so more employees can benefit, as well as working with the HR team to further improve family and flexible working polices including looking at gender-neutral parental leave.