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Published: 27 May 2021

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield – Joint Winner 2021, Best for Mothers

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield build and manage property, including shopping centres, residential, convention and exhibition space, and airports. The organisation goes above and beyond to support mothers at all stages of parenthood every step of the way.

Women are offered enhanced maternity pay with three months full pay and a further three months at half pay. This is the same for Shared Parental Leave and Adoption Leave.

Before maternity leave starts, mothers have a one-to-one meeting with HR and their line manager to discuss leave, the process, support and entitlements. Employees receive Working Families Parental Leave Guide to support mothers before, during and after their leave.

Expectant mothers can benefit from a coaching session with an external wellbeing coach, and they are assigned a ‘Workplace Buddy’. This buddy scheme sees current parents provide support to new or returning parents.

During maternity leave, HR, line managers and buddies are in regular contact with mothers, offering support and keeping them informed of any business updates, using keeping in touch days if desired. When ready, mothers can arrange a meeting to discuss their return to the workplace, including flexible working options and a phased return to work.

On their return to work, line managers create an induction plan for parents aiming to ease the transition back to work. A coaching session is also arranged with the individual’s external coach. Women have the right to request flexible working from day one.

This series of support has led to 81% of mothers returning to work from maternity leave in 2020. All of them were supported to complete a phased return. For those mothers who submitted a flexible working request as part of their return, 100% of these were approved or a reasonable alternative was agreed.

The organisation’s focus on learning and development, talent retention and diversity and inclusion means they have already met their Group 2025 target of 40% of senior positions being held by women.

As well as two paid Wellbeing Days a year to support employees with their mental and physical health, staff can also take an additional paid Family/Personal Day to help them with commitments outside of work. Newly introduced Carers, Surrogacy, Menopause and Baby Loss policies are also in place.

Find out what the judges had to say about the winners of the Best for Mothers Award 2021.