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Scotland’s most family friendly employers announced

Published: 1 Apr 2015

Scottish Top Employers winners 2015

Scotland’s Most Family Friendly Employers Announced

Winners of the inaugural Scottish Top Employers for Working Families Awards were announced on 31st March. Many of Scotland’s leading employers are embracing family friendly and flexible working and this was reflected in the high calibre of entries from large and small organisations across Scotland. The first ever winners of these awards were named as Centrica, Scottish Water, Badenoch and Clark, West Dunbartonshire Council, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. 

The awards are organised by Family Friendly Working Scotland – a partnership of Working Families, Fathers Network Scotland, Parenting Across Scotland and the Scottish Government. FFWS is funded and supported by the Scottish Government.

Long working hours, long commutes and lack of time to spend caring for family are common issues for working families in Scotland, who find themselves time poor, cash poor and often both.

The awards celebrate progressive organisations that recognise that family friendly and flexible working bring benefits to employees, while also delivering high performance and successful businesses. Through these working practices employers have found that they can achieve increased productivity and performance, reduced absenteeism, better morale and wellbeing, as well as improving staff retention and recruitment.

Fiona McLeod MSP, Acting Minister for Children and Young People, delivered a speech at the Awards Ceremony, which took place at Surgeons Hall in Edinburgh. She said:

“The calibre of entrants for these inaugural awards has been extremely high and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to recognise the work of so many family friendly organisations today. Finding a good work-family life balance is a challenge that many parents and carers face and it is heartening to see today’s winners are doing all they can to help their employees find a good balance and to realise their career and family aspirations.

“I’m pleased that the Scottish Government funds and works closely with Family Friendly Working Scotland. Through this partnership, we aim to help employers offer flexibility to workers and today’s awards celebrate the very best of these.”

Sarah Jackson OBE, CEO Working Families who chaired The Scottish Top Employers for Working Families judging panel said:

“The quality of entries was exceptional and it is apparent that organisations of all sizes and sectors across Scotland are wholeheartedly embracing family friendly flexible working. There is a clear understanding of the benefits this brings to business, family life, society and the economy.

“Finalists demonstrate success and impact as a result of implementing a family friendly approach and there was also a deep understanding of the link between flexibility and high performance.”

Employers were able to enter up to six award categories highlighting how they have developed and supported flexible and family friendly working. Anonymised entries were judged by an expert panel of judges.

Winners of the 2015 Scottish Top Employers for Working Families for each category are: 

  • Best Large Private Employer 2015

o   Winner: Centrica     Commended: Skyscanner     Sponsored by: Maclay Murray and Spens LLP

  • Best Large Public Sector Employer 2015

o   Winner: Scottish Water     Commended: Scottish Parliament

  • Best Small Employer 2015

o   Winner: Badenoch and Clark

  • Fathers Network Scotland Award for Best for all Stages of Fatherhood

o   Winner: West Dunbartonshire Council     Sponsored by: Centrica

  • Parenting Across Scotland Award for Best for Childcare

o   Winner Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

  • Carers Scotland Award for Best for Carers and Eldercare

o   Joint winner: Centrica     Joint winner: Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

Highly commended: Carers of West Lothian


Notes for Editors 


Nikki.slowey@workingfamilies.org.uk m: 07803207965

Julie.mccarthy@workingfamilies.org.uk m: 07736 232360

Case studies

Case studies on the finalists and winners are available to read in the awards brochure here. For further information contact Nikki.slowey@workingfamilies.org.uk or Julie.mccarthy@workingfamilies.org.uk


The full list of finalists can be accessed here: http://www.topemployersforworkingfamilies.org.uk/index.php/scottish-special-awards

Quotes from Supporters 

Simon Hodgson, Director of Carers Scotland:

“Carers Scotland is delighted to have supported the new best for carers and eldercare award. Joint winners Centrica and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service demonstrate outstanding levels of support for employees with caring responsibilities and through this award, their best practice can help raise awareness across employers in Scotland of the importance of supporting and retaining valuable members of staff who are carers.”

Sam Pringle, Co-chair Fathers Network Scotland:

“Fathers Network Scotland is delighted to have this chance to highlight father-focused, good practice in workplaces across Scotland. We hope this award will inspire organisations from all sectors to recognise the strong business case for addressing the needs of working fathers and their families – not least because those who feel recognised and supported as dads make highly motivated and reliable employees.”

Clare Simpson, Project Manager for Parenting Across Scotland:

“PAS is delighted that SCVO has won the award for childcare. It’s important that employers recognise the importance of childcare to their business needs – as Nicola Sturgeon said recently childcare is as much a part of the economic infrastructure as transport – and it’s encouraging to see that even a relatively small employer can make this part of their day to day work offer to employees.”

About Family Friendly Working Scotland (FFWS)

Launched in 2014, FFWS is a collaborative programme between Working Families, Fathers Network Scotland, Parenting Across Scotland and the Scottish Government. The programme aims to create a family friendly Scotland in the field of employment. The programme works with employers and relevant stakeholders along with employees and families.

About Working Families

Working Families is the UK’s leading 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. 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

About Fathers Network Scotland

Fathers Network Scotland (FNS) is an independent Scottish charity. The organisation’s mission is to become the national torchbearer and voice for fathers in Scotland by positively engaging, supporting and empowering men to become the best fathers they can be. The strategy includes enabling Scottish employers to engage with fathers in the workplace and as clients and service users.

About Parenting Across Scotland

Parenting Across Scotland (PAS) is a partnership of charities working together to provide a focus for issues and concerns affecting parents and families in Scotland. The PAS partners are Aberlour Childcare Trust; Capability Scotland; Children 1st; Children in Scotland; Families Outside; One Parent Families Scotland; Relationships Scotland; Scottish Adoption; and The Spark. Together the partners work with thousands of parents.

About Carers Scotland

Carers Scotland is a charity which supports the thousands of people in Scotland who care for an elderly, sick or disabled family member, partner or friend. Carers Scotland is currently working on the Scottish Government’s commitment to develop a new ‘Employers Kitemark’ to encourage and recognise employers who support carers in their workforce.

The Judging Panel

Organisations were asked to describe their policies and practices and to bring the application to life with a case study. Our expert panel of judges, who bring a breadth of knowledge and experience, judged each application anonymously, using an agreed set of criteria. 

Sarah Jackson OBE, CEO Working Families PIC (Chair)
John McLeish, Vice President Human Resources, Stork
Lauren Paterson, Senior Policy Executive, CBI Scotland
Craig Morris, Policy Lead Scottish Government
Sam Pringle, Co-Chair Fathers Network Scotland
Clare Simpson, Project Manager, Parenting Across Scotland
Sue McLintock, Senior Policy Officer (Employers Kitemark) Carers Scotland