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Home News & eventsNews Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards – the shortlist is unveiled

Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards – the shortlist is unveiled

Published: 25 May 2017

Britain’s most family friendly and flexible employers 2017 – shortlist unveiled today

The annual Top Employers for Working Families [1] Special Awards have eleven categories across a range of work-life policies and practices, including flexible working initiatives.

Sarah Jackson OBE, chief executive of Working Families [4], said:

“There are 11 million working parents in the UK making up more than a third of the workforce and it’s clear that getting work right for them is good for business and good for families. But the way many employers design, organise and advertise work restricts people with family responsibilities from participating fully in work.

“The organisations who have made it on to the awards shortlist offer flexible, supportive, agile workplaces that go with the grain of their employees’ lives. This in turn enables them to attract and retain the best people and reap the rewards of a productive, loyal and engaged workforce. Congratulations to the 24 organisations who are through to the finals from an outstanding field.”


The Direct Line Group best for embedded flexible working award

  • Inspiring Scotland
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Turn it On

 The Allen & Overy best for innovation award

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Barclays
  • EY
  • Grant Thornton

The Carers UK and Centrica best for carers and eldercare award

  • Highlands & Islands Enterprise
  • West Dunbartonshire Council

The Deloitte best for all stages of motherhood award

  • Barclays
  • Dulas
  • JP Morgan
  • PageGroup

 The Cityparents best for all stages of fatherhood award

  • Barclays
  • Imperial College

The Cross River Partnership best flexible working initiative award

  • AB World Foods
  • Alexander Mann Solutions
  • Holiday Extras

The best for flexible recruitment award

  • Berwin Leighton Paisner
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • OUTiCO
  • Virtual Sales Team

Best large private sector award

  • AB World Foods
  • Berwin Leighton Paisner
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Sky

Best small employer award

  • Brand Learning
  • Virtual Sales Team

Best public sector award

  • Civil Service HR
  • Highlands & Islands Enterprise
  • West Dunbartonshire Council

Best third sector award

  • Inspiring Scotland
  • seAp
  • Southdown Housing Association

Read what finalists have said about gaining a place on the shortlist

‘The Top Employers Award is an important benchmark for Dulas to aspire to. Our business is focussed in areas that have been traditionally dominated by men and we are actively trying to change that landscape and make this field work for women. Motherhood should not be a barrier to career progression and we are thrilled to be recognised for our efforts with a shortlisting for this prestigious and recognised award.’ Laura Hiscox, Senior marketing communications coordinator, Dulas

The success of the Council’s flexible working arrangements for staff has been clear to see and we are determined that West Dunbartonshire Council will continue to be a family and carer-friendly place to work. Being nominated for this award goes to further highlight that this is the right approach for the Council to take and, as the new Convener, I appreciate the challenges our staff have overcome to make flexible working a success.  I congratulate all of the employees who have helped achieve this nomination.’ Ian Dickson, Corporate Services Convener, West Dunbartonshire Council

‘Our business has evolved so much and to be shortlisted for the ‘Best for all stages of motherhood’ award and as such, recognised by such an influential body, is something we are exceptionally proud of.’  Sheri Hughes, Associate Director, PageGroup

‘We invest our energy in cultivating an inspiring environment for our talented people – and flexible working at Alexander Mann Solutions is something that we truly believe in and are passionate about. We’re delighted and feel extremely proud that our initiatives in creating an agile and inclusive culture have shortlisted us amongst the very best of employers.’ Sandy Lucas, Director of People Capital, Alexander Mann Solutions

‘The success of our business is centred around providing quality staff for our clients, and we’re committed to finding exceptional people who can add real value, whether that’s part or full time. We recognise that by offering flexible working, we have access to a much bigger talent pool. Being endorsed by Working Families is fantastic, and will help us to continue to attract the highest quality people to our business, who can genuinely enjoy a work/life balance too.Paul Black, Chief Operating Officer, OUTiCO

‘Being part of the Working Families awards is important to Brand Learning. Our approach to working parents is grounded in sound business sense as we are able to attract and retain highly talented people to our team. Our family friendly culture recognises the need to balance work and home life demands of both parents to enable Brand Learning parents to perform at their best and in turn deliver a high standard of work to our clients’.  Cathy Winsey, HR Operations Director, Brand Learning

‘AB World Foods is delighted to be shortlisted in the 2017 Top Employers for Working Families Awards and we are pleased to share our good practice in the categories of ‘Best for Flexible Working’ and ‘Best Large Private Sector Employer’.  At AB World Foods, we pride ourselves on our culture of curiosity in food and travel, and promoting a flexible, supportive workplace that allows that culture to thrive. As part of these awards, we are looking forward to celebrating all the excellent work that is going on to help employees across all kinds of industries and workplaces balance their home and working lives.’  Jenny Martin, HR Business Partner, AB World Foods

Trust and flexibility is at the heart of our culture at Holiday Extras. We are delighted to be shortlisted for this year’s Best Flexible Working Initiative Award – reflecting our ongoing to commitment to ensuring our teams achieve a balance between their work and personal lives.’ Carolyne Creed, People Director, Holiday Extras

We are delighted to be shortlisted for Best Third Sector and Best for Embedded Flexibility in this year’s Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards. Being a family friendly employer has always been central to our culture and the way we look after our people.  These awards help to show that offering family friendly and flexible working creates an environment which is good for staff and good for businesses.’ Celia Tennant, Inspiring Scotland Chief Executive

‘Family values are a critical element of BLP’s culture – we appreciate that people’s lives outside of work are an important part of what makes them innovative, motivated and happy at work. The Working Families Top Employer Awards are a great way for us to restate our commitment to and support of our people at BLP and their family life, demonstrate to potential talent that we are an employer of choice, and benchmark how we are doing against our competitors.’ Claire England, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, BLP

‘We’re delighted to be nominated in this years ‘Top Employers for Working Families’. Whenever possible, we’re happy to support flexible working to help our people do their best work and achieve their personal goals.’ Katrina Watson, HR Consultant, Sky

The results will be announced on the afternoon of 6th July at London’s Vintners’ Hall.

For more information contact Liz Whitehead, Working Families’ Press Office on 020 7253 7243  or email press@workingfamilies.org.uk


Notes to editors

[1] The Top Employers for Working Families Awards 2017

Organisations were shortlisted in 11 categories in the 2017 Top Employers for Working Families awards.  https://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/employers/top-employers-special-awards/ and the winners will be announced at a ceremony which takes place on 6th July at Vintners’ Hall, London. The Top Employers Benchmark is still open and entries must be submitted by 31st July in order to be considered for a place in the Top 30 Employers for Working Families which is announced during National Work Life Week (2nd – 6th October 2017) https://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/employers/benchmark/

[2] Case studies of previous award winners are available here: https://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/publications/top-employers-for-working-families-special-awards-the-case-studies/

Case studies of this year’s winners will be available from 6th July. Please contact the press office for further details. press@workingfamilies.org.uk

[3] Judging Panel. The award entries were judged by the following panel:  Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive, Working Families; Clare Kelliher, BSc, MA, PhD, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University. Pauline Miller, Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Lloyd’s Corporation; Jenny Roper, Editor, HR magazine; Mary Mercer, Associate Principal Consultant, Institute for Employment Studies.  The judging process for the Special Awards is anonymous – none of the judges knows the identity of the companies they are judging.

[4] About Working Families

Working Families is the UK’s work life 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. 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

[5] Sponsors

Special Award sponsors:

Allen & Overy – sponsor of the best for innovation award

Carers UK and Centrica – sponsors of the best for carers and eldercare award

Deloitte – sponsor of the best for all stages of motherhood award

Direct Line Group – sponsor of the best for embedded flexible working award