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Published: 8 Jun 2022

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield – Finalist 2022, Best for Mothers

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Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield are embracing new ways to support mothers in achieving the best possible balance between work and home life, to ensure they are recognised as an employer of choice.  

Policy support for mothers 

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield policies offer a comprehensive support to mothers at all stages of their parenthood, starting with enhanced maternity leave of 13 weeks full pay and 13 weeks half pay. Parental bereavement leave of two weeks full pay for pregnancy loss at any stage is available irrespective of length of service, and specific policies are in place to manage the surrogacy process, menopause and baby loss.  

The right to request flexible working is available from day one, easing the pressure of balancing home and caring responsibilities. There is company-wide hybrid working, with core hours in place, to support employees to achieve a positive work life balance. Annual leave can be carried over or purchased, and the organisation provides two paid wellbeing days per year, which can be taken flexibly in hours or days, designed to promote good mental and physical health. Dependent leave is available to be taken, for children’s appointments or emergencies.  

Additional support  

Support starts prior to maternity leave, with a meeting to discuss leave, process, support and entitlements. A return-to-work plan helps ease the transition with a 1–2 week schedule and flexible working options. Through the Wellbeing Project coaching sessions are provided and the Family Buddy scheme connects parents to provide support on their return to work. Employees are given access to external family networks, such as Real Estate Balance, to enable them to share experiences and exchange ideas on returning to work.  

Partnerships with external organisations such as Stonewall and Equality Works supports a culture of inclusivity through employee talks and workshops. Internal workshops around flexible working and family leave help raise awareness to encourage take-up. Training is available throughout the organisation to skill managers to lead high performing agile teams, and educate employees on issues that will impact them, such as managing the menopause.   

Annual events such as Bring your Kids to Work Day helps mothers to integrate their home and working experiences, as do events such as Work Life Balance Week and awareness raising events such as Baby Loss Awareness Week.  

Measure of success  

The results of the initiatives demonstrate their success, with 100% of mothers supported to complete a phased return, and 100% of mothers’ formal flexible working requests were approved. Two thirds of those eligible opted to receive Return Coaching and 88% of those eligible opted to receive pre-leave Maternity coaching.  

This award was sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada

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