Home News & eventsNews Search begins for the UK’s best employers for flexible and family-friendly working

Search begins for the UK’s best employers for flexible and family-friendly working

Published: 21 Jan 2019

Working Families calls for entries to find the leading employers who are offering outstanding flexible and employee-friendly workplaces.

Working Families’ prestigious Best Practice Awards  for employers open for entries today (21 January 2019).

Now in their tenth year, Working Families’ Best Practice Awards showcase and celebrate employers who are offering flexibility for all their people and going above and beyond in their support for parents and carers.

There are two new awards for 2019: Best North of England Employer and Best for Mental Health and Wellbeing. One in four people suffer from mental health issues, making wellbeing in the workplace a vital issue. The Best for Mental Health and Wellbeing award will be given to an employer showing innovative, practical and effective ways of identifying and supporting employees with mental health issues and promoting wellbeing in their organisation.

Employers from a diverse range of sectors from across the UK will compete to win the top prize in the following categories:

  • Best for Mothers
  • Best for Fathers
  • Best for Carers & Eldercare
  • Best Family Network
  • Best for Mental Health & Wellbeing NEW
  • Best Innovation (sponsored by ILF Scotland)
  • Best for Flexible Recruitment
  • Best Returner Programme
  • Best for Embedded Flexibility
  • Best Flexible Working Initiative (sponsored by NHS Employers)
  • Best for Line Manager Support
  • Best Large Private Sector Employer
  • Best Small Private Sector Employer
  • Best North of England Employer NEW
  • Best Public Sector Employer
  • Best Third Sector Employer

Entries are judged by an expert panel. The identities of the companies being evaluated are kept anonymous throughout the judging process.

Jane van Zyl, CEO of Working Families, said:

“Flexible working isn’t just good for parents and carers; it’s good for business. Employers reap valuable rewards when they give their staff members more control over their time—from improved employee engagement to better organisational performance.   We are excited to recognise employers that have gone above and beyond with flexible and family-friendly initiatives that support, motivate, and bring out the best in their teams.

The awards offer employers a chance to establish themselves as leaders in flexible and family-friendly policy and practice. Laura Farnsworth, partner at law firm Lewis Silkin—winner of last year’s award for Best Innovation for their ‘rockhopper’ scheme—said:

“We are absolutely delighted that rockhopper has won this award and been recognised for its innovation in developing alternative roles for our staff which facilitate a better work life balance. We regularly receive great feedback from our clients about the exceptional quality service that our talented rockhopper lawyers provide and it is fantastic to receive external recognition of our efforts to challenge the traditional ways of working in a law firm.”

Award-winning ideas in 2018 included a standard four-day week, agile working open to all staff, carers’ networks, new parents’ workshops, and enhanced shared parental leave. Full case studies of previous winners are available on the Working Families website .

For more information and to enter, visit the Working Families’ website. The closing date for entries is 25 March, 2019.


About Working Families

Working Families is the UK’s work-life balance organisation. We help working parents and carers—and their employers—find a better balance between responsibilities at home and in the workplace.

Through our legal advice helpline, we assist parents and carers in tackling complex issues around employment rights and benefits. We give employers the tools and guidance they need to support their employees while creating a flexible, high-performing workforce. And we advocate on behalf of the UK’s 13 million working parents, influencing policy through campaigns informed by ground-breaking research.