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Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield – Winner 2018, UBS Best for Fathers Network Award

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield offers fathers many forms of support to help them find the right balance between work and family life including enhanced paternity leave, Shared Parental Leave, workshops for fathers and a family buddy system. 

Key Points

  • Four weeks Paternity Leave on full pay taken by all relevant staff, which can also be taken in separate blocks.
  • Enhanced Shared Parental Leave, which 40% of eligible fathers used in 2017. 
  • New Parents Workshop for Fathers and Partners rated 8.7 out of 10 in Westfield’s employee Happiness Index. 

The company offers four weeks paid paternity leave, which was used by all relevant staff in 2017. It also offers enhanced Shared Parental Leave with three months’ full pay and a further three months at half pay. This is matched with maternity entitlements. 

Fathers are assigned a Family Buddy for periods of leave over 3 months (however the scheme is open to all fathers regardless of length of leave) – A Family Buddy is a member of staff who is already a parent – to support them before, during and after a period of leave. The scheme provides a broader support network of parents within the business. 

While workshops specifically for fathers and partners provide new fathers the opportunity to address the practical and emotional realities of their new dual role, as well as sharing their plans, hopes and concerns in a confidential way with other new fathers facing similar challenges.  

At least three quarters of men working for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield can work flexibly in an informal way and the company is beginning to receive formal applications for flexible working from fathers. 

In addition, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield provides a host of family friendly benefits including one paid family or personal day in addition to annual leave and an employee assistance programme, which can help source local childcare. 

In 2017 it launched ‘Bring Your Children to Work Day’ for all UK employees with children aged 16 and under. Children took part in a series of activities and could shadow their parents. Parents rated the day 8.9 out of 10 in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s employee Happiness Index. 

The process from applying for shared leave, getting guidance from HR, and sitting down with my line manager to talk through was seamless. Not once was my request questioned, in fact it was supported.

Chris Betts, Centre Retail Manager.