Working Families Best Practice awards include a unique Best for Fathers category, with winners announced this month.
DaddiLife has long campaigned for better work/life balance, and for fathers to be offered the kind of flexible working model that allows them to be both involved dads and good employees. A large part of our website is dedicated to the subject, as was our 2019 dads at work research into the area.
Working Families is a charity that shares those aims. The organisation helps “working parents and carers—and their employers—find a better balance between responsibilities at home and in the workplace.”
Part of that effort is its annual Working Families Best Practice awards. The awards celebrate employers whose stand-out cultures and working practices are leading the way in flexible and employee-friendly workplaces.
A difficult year for working parents
The finalists for this year’s awards have just been released, with the winners will be announced on 27 May. The shortlist includes organisations from across the UK who, in a difficult year, have gone above and beyond in their support for parents and carers.
“This last year has been exceptionally challenging for everyone, and particularly for many working parents who’ve had to find ways to balance work with caring for children,” said Jane van Zyl, Chief Executive of Working Families and chair of the judging panel.
“We know that where employers have adopted flexible working practices, that balancing act has been made far less stressful for individuals, and allowed employees to be as productive as possible in their role.”
Best for dads
There’s a full list of categories and finalists below. Unusually for awards of this type, Working Families Best Practice includes a category specifically for dads. Shortlisted in the Best for Fathers category are investment management company Man Group and commercial reality estate company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW).
URW is the category’s defending champion, having been named Best for Fathers in 2019. The Group signed a corporate parenthood charter in 2013. Training for working parents is conducted year-round in the Netherlands, Spain, France, the UK and US.
The Man Group are also leaders in the field. The Group offers an enhanced gender neutral parental leave policy that covers Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental and Adoption leave. It includes 18 weeks of full pay.
Jane van Zyl states that these policies are also good for both the employee and the business. “As we move out of the pandemic into the ‘new normal’, we are determined to use what we’ve learned to benefit more of the UK’s 13 million working parents.
“This list of outstanding organisations is leading the way in showing that flexible, family friendly working policies aren’t just the right thing to do: they make great business sense. When employees have more control over their time, we see improved engagement and retention, as well as better organisational performance.”
This list of outstanding organisations is leading the way in showing that flexible, family friendly working policies aren’t just the right thing to do: they make great business sense
Working parents are great employees
We know from our own research how true that is. Businesses that focus on work life balance for parents boost their recruitment and retention policies. And they have workforces that respond with real commitment to the company. By contrast, we find over and over again that, when dads are refused flexible working and time with their families, they’re more likely to jump ship.
“Dads want to be more hands on, and we’ve certainly seen more dads asking for flexible working,” Madeleine Cole, co-founder of the flexible working conference firm Flexpo, told us recently. “Dads no longer want to miss every significant moment in the early life of their child. They don’t want to be stuck at work every day for bed and bath time or, later, for school pickup.”
So the Working Families Best Practice awards are important, because they show successful businesses furthering the cause of flexible working for both mums and dads with sensible, progressive policies. Good luck to all the finalists on 27 May.
Working Families Best Practice awards finalists
Best COVID-19 Response
North East London NHS Foundation Trust
QBE European Operations
University of Strathclyde
Best for Mothers
Best for Fathers
Best for Carers & Eldercare – sponsored by Crown Prosecution Service
Anglo American Services (UK) Ltd
West Midlands Police
Best Family Network
Nationwide Building Society
Best for Mental Health & Wellbeing – sponsored by Hill Dickinson LLP
Mills & Reeve LLP
Nationwide Building Society
Best Innovation – sponsored by Adactus Ltd
Mills & Reeve LLP
Best for Flexible Working – sponsored by Find Your Flex Group
Hill Dickinson LLP
Together Housing Group
Best Small Employer – sponsored by ILF Scotland
Keep Britain Tidy