Home News & eventsNews The search begins for 2017’s Top Employers for Working Families

The search begins for 2017’s Top Employers for Working Families

Published: 13 Jan 2017

Working Families calls for entries to find the leaders of the pack in the fast-changing world of flexible, family-friendly working 

Working Families’ flexible working and work life awards for employers who are developing engaged and high-performing workforces open for entries today.

The flexible working landscape has changed considerably since the Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards were launched. The extension of flexible working rights to all, shared parental leave for new fathers, the increasing popularity of senior level flexibility, and the changing expectations of millennial workers all mean that future-thinking employers now, more than ever, need to offer exceptional workplaces if they are to attract and retain the best talent.

Now in their 8th year, the Special Awards [2] showcase and celebrate employers’ work-life and flexible working policies and practices.  Making the shortlist for a Special Award recognises best practice, innovation and sustainability and marks out winners as leaders in the field.

Employers from a diverse range of sectors will compete to catch the judges’ [4] attention in the following categories:

Flexible Working

  • The Direct Line Group Best for Embedded Flexibility award
  • The Best Flexible Working Initiative Award
  • The Best for Flexible Recruitment Award

Support for Working Parents, Carers and Families

  • The Centrica Best for Modern Families Award
  • The Carers UK Best for Carers and Eldercare Award
  • The Best for All Stages of Motherhood Award
  • The Best for All Stages of Fatherhood Award

Innovation and Engagement

  • The Allen & Overy Innovation Award
  • The Best for Line Manager Engagement Award

Best in Sector

  • The Best Large Private Sector Employer Award
  • The Best Small Employer Award
  • The Best Public Sector Employer Award
  • The Best Third Sector Employer Award

Sarah Jackson OBE, chief executive of Working Families said:

‘Working Families is calling for employers everywhere to tell us about the great work that we know is going on across the UK in developing flexible, family-friendly and agile workplaces. As well as recognising the winning organisations, the awards help Working Families to spread the word and share good practice and inspiring new ideas. The judging panel [4] looks forward to reading this year’s entries.’

Read what last year’s entrants say about the awards:

‘These awards send a clear message that the RAF recognises the importance of supporting our personnel in their work/life balance choices, reinforcing our commitment to retaining our people and attracting the best talent in a competitive marketplace’. RAF, Highly Commended, 2016

‘The Working Families Awards and in particular the category of Best for Embedded Flexibility are important to Barclays, helping us to create sustainability around our Dynamic Working Campaign. We aim to ensure dynamic working is available for all our colleagues including our future talent and our alumni who may decide in the future to return to the Bank. The external recognition enables this momentum to continue.’ Barclays, Winner, 2016

Winning ideas in 2016 included the Civil Service Job Share Finder Tool, Cisco’s TimeSwap, JobSwap and Stretch Assignment Marketplace, Pinsent Mason’s Project Sky and West Dunbartonshire Council’s We Care that You Care strategy.  A summary of all finalists’ case studies is available here.

For more information and to enter, visit the Special Awards page. The closing date for entries is 3rd April 2017


Notes to editors

[1] For more information contact

Liz Whitehead, Working Families’ Press Office on 020 7253 7243 or email elizabeth.whitehead@workingfamilies.org.uk


[2] Top Employers for Working Families Awards 2017


The Special Awards are open until 3rd April 2017

The winners of the Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony which takes place on 6th July at Vintners’ Hall in London. 

[3] Case studies of previous award winners are available here. Please contact the press office for further details and for contact details of the winners.

[4] Judging Panel. The final winners of each Special Award category are judged by a panel. The judging process for the Special Awards is anonymous – none of the judges knows the identity of the companies which they are judging.

[5] About Working Families

Working Families is the UK’s work life organisation.  The charity supports and gives a voice to working parents and carers, whilst also helping employers create workplaces which encourage work-life balance for everyone. www.workingfamilies.org.uk  Twitter @workingfamuk

The Working Families helpline for parents, carers and their advisers gives advice on employment rights and benefits. Call 0300 012 0312 or email advice@workingfamilies.org.uk

[6] Sponsors

Special Award sponsors:

Allen & Overy – sponsor of The Innovation Award

Carers UK – sponsor of Best for Carers and Eldercare

Centrica – sponsor of Best for Modern Families

Direct Line Group – sponsor of Best for Embedded Flexibility