More work to do after a bumper decade for flexible, family friendly working policies
Published: 27 Feb 2017
Support for parents, carers and flexible workers has increased considerably in the last decade but new poll stats reveal there’s still more to do
Working Families announces the exemplar employer members who have led the way in building flexible workplaces for ten years or more
The last decade has seen great advances in rights for flexible workers, mothers, fathers and carers. . New rights introduced since 2007 include extensions to maternity leave and pay; free childcare; an increase in unpaid parental leave; the Right to Request flexible working for all employees and Shared Parental Leave.
But a third of people still don’t think combining their work and caring responsibilities has got easier over the last decade while 24 per cent do, according to new polling  from Working Families.
The polling was conducted to mark the announcement of the 21 employers who have been members of Working Families for at least ten years. The 10 Year Employer Members  have led the way in building a flexible and family-friendly workplace for all the employees in their workforce.
The 10 Year Employer Members of Working Families are:
Allen & Overy
Bank of England
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Lloyds Banking Group
Royal Bank of Scotland
Simmons and Simmons
Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families said:
“Working Families’ 10 year employer members have led the way in building flexible and family-friendly workplaces for the parents and carers in their workforce – and we’re delighted to have been part of their journey.
“Over the last decade we have reached some major milestones in the journey towards better rights for working parents, which, combined with our members’ efforts to be exemplars in family-friendly employment, have made a real difference to the lives of working parents and carers.
“The poll results show that there is still work to be done in helping UK employers to build workplaces which support all employees balance their work and home life.”
Working Families’ 10 Year Members said:
‘A&O are delighted to be a longstanding member of Working Families. We are committed to ensuring that we provide a working environment where our people can combine a great career with family life. Always an excellent source of research and thinking in this area, Working Families informs our efforts and challenges us to take the next steps.’
‘At Barclays, our Dynamic Working campaign is aimed at helping colleagues define their own working arrangements to manage their personal and professional commitments more effectively. This is directly linked to Working Families’ philosophy and we are proud of our collaboration with them to support our staff with the balance they need, whatever their life stage.’
‘KPMG has benefitted from our longstanding membership with Working Families in many ways. From support in embedding our flexible working policies, to showcasing us as Shared Parental Leave Pioneer, we have valued the advice and expertise provided by the organisation. We are proud be named in the Top 30 Employers for Working Families for the 8th year in a row, and will use this benchmark as an opportunity to continuously improve all of our family friendly policies.’
‘Morgan Stanley is proud to be a 10 year member of Working Families and congratulate them on all they do to champion improving the workplace for working parents. As a Firm, we are committed to proactively supporting working parents and carers through our active Employee Family Network, family friendly policies and benefits.’
‘I am delighted that UBS has reached its 10 year anniversary with Working Families. Their annual benchmarking has helped provide insight into our policies and practices. This, alongside their research, conferences and breakfast briefings, has ensured UBS stays up to date on key topics and best practice, and as a result enables us to continue to support our employees.’
Notes to Editors
For further information or to contact any of the 10 year members, please contact Liz Whitehead, Media Officer, Working Families Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org
 About Working Families
Working Families is the UK’s leading work-life balance charity. We support and advocate on behalf of working parents and carers, and work with employers to create workplaces which encourage work-life balance for everyone. Working Families provides a range of support for employers including membership, benchmarking, training and consultancy. The charity also supports parents and carers, including through its legal advice service.
 Opinium Omnibus Question Results
The Opinium poll question was included in the Omnibus between 27-31 January 2017. The poll question was answered by 2002 online interviews with UK adults from a nationally representative audience. Respondents were asked to state their level of agreement with the following statement: “Combining work and caring responsibilities outside of work (e.g. childcare, care of elderly relatives, etc.) has become easier for parents in the last 10 years”. 24% of UK adults agree that it’s got easier to combine caring responsibilities outside of work in the last 10 years, but a third (33%) disagree. 18-34s are the most likely to agree with this statement (31%).
 A decade in new rights for flexible workers, mothers, fathers and carers
The last decade has seen great advances in rights for flexible workers, mothers, fathers and carers. In 2007 support for parents improved considerably with extensions to maternity leave, maternity pay and free childcare. In the same year, carers gained the right to request flexible working. In 2009 an extra 4.5million parents of children aged 16 and under became eligible.
From 2011, fathers became entitled to up to 26 weeks’ additional paternity leave – the first step on the ongoing journey towards better leave entitlements for new fathers. In 2013, unpaid parental leave that could be taken per child increased from 13 to 18 weeks.
In 2014 Working Families celebrated the extension of the right to request to all employees. In 2015 unpaid parental leave was extended to parents of all children under 18. And in 2015 another major milestone in the campaign for rights for working parents was reached – the introduction of shared parental leave.
 Working Families Employer Membership
Working Families offers employer membership to UK organisations from all sectors and sizes. Benefits include support in building family friendly, flexible workplaces as well as access to the annual benchmark. For further details see the Working Families website: https://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/employers/working-families-membership/how-will-membership-support-me-and-my-organisation/
 The Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards
The annual awards for UK’s most family friendly and flexible employers are open for entries. There are 13 categories and the awards are open to all UK employers: https://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/employers/top-employers-special-awards/