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Published: 8 Jun 2022

Santander – Finalist 2022, Best for All Families

Santander has implemented a broad range of measures designed to support family diversity and give their 20,000 employees the opportunity to thrive. 


There is a drive to maximise inclusivity in the workforce. Jobs are advertised on diversity job boards and a dedicated recruitment consultant proactively sources talented and diverse candidates. Family friendly policies are transparent, available on the website for external candidates to view prior to interview, helping them understand how their individual family circumstances can be supported.  

Policies are designed to be inclusive, specifically parental leave policies are gender-neutral, and inclusion campaigns and events promote allyship and inclusion, giving managers the skills, tools and knowledge to support their teams.  

Family friendly policies 

The policies in place are designed to help employees meet the needs of their families. Extended parental leave is offered, with an increase last year for maternity, adoption and shared parental leave from 16 to 20 weeks. As well as broader flexible working policies, there are a range of leave policies specific to families experiencing domestic abuse, bereavement, and illness.  

The Family and Carers Network has a membership of 1800 and provides information and support through events and workshops, as well as opportunities to connect and voice concerns. Within the network dedicated working groups function to find solutions, and initiatives help develop support at an organisational level, for example Let’s Talk Fertility, Altogether Adoption, Family Mentoring and Parent Connect, which connects parents returning from maternity and paternity leave. 

Work culture 

Opportunities exist to collect employee feedback on initiatives and strategies. A regular all employee Peakon survey asks employee views on workload and work life balance. Managers are encouraged to review their team’s responses and use 121’s to address any issues that arise. Regular listening circles are available to understand employee views and create an open dialogue, and a dedicated Culture and Experience Team works on projects focused on employee experience, inclusion, wellbeing, and value proposition.  

An Executive Sponsor helps employees feel comfortable accessing the leave and benefits they are entitled to, as well as advocating their needs at senior levels. She has shared her lived experiences of the surrogacy process on the bank-wide podcast, helping to set the tone for an open culture, where employees feel able to talk about issues that affect their family. 

Last year 89% of Santander employees who took the survey felt their manager supports them to maintain a good balance between their work and personal life. 

This award was sponsored by Fastn.

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