Santander – Finalist 2020, Best Family Network
Santander’s parents and carers network offers information, peer support and signposting for parents, grandparents, those looking to adopt or foster along with colleagues who have caring responsibilities, and is run by a group of volunteers who bring to the group a range of experience such as adoption, fostering, fertility, dementia, caring and flexible working. The network has the active support of its Executive Committee sponsor and the contribution of the volunteers is formally recognised as part of their performance plan and through Board level acknowledgement.
The network provides practical support for colleagues, from 1-to-1 individual support for particular issues through to hosting a wide range of pop-up events and webinars on family related topics. Attendance to webinars grew exponentially over 2019 and were recorded for future access, so more employees could access. Their intranet articles and posts are widely accessed and they signpost to external specialist organisations where appropriate.
The network has successfully worked closely with HR and D&I to improve family friendly and flexible working policies and practices, drawing on support and information from external organisations and best practice examples from other workplaces. A key change in 2019 was a review of the Fostering Policy which enabled greater freedom when employees could take paid leave.