Working Families: Work Life Week 2019

Working Families: Work Life Week 2019

As National Work Life Week draws to a close for another year, we have a chance to reflect on what positive changes can be made by both employers and employees to increase work-life balance and wellbeing at work.

At Zurich UK, a Working Families employer member, Head of HR Steve Collinson explained to us how the company has been addressing their gender pay gap and creating a ‘level playing field’ for all applicants. They now offer every vacancy advertised across the UK business as a potential part time, job share or agile working opportunity. Steve explains:

“Empowering our people to work in a way that fits around their own personal needs is at the core of our business DNA. This is not simply a ‘bandwagon’ we’ve jumped on to gain media traction or fall in line with the crowd. At Zurich UK we were very early adopters of this initiative and today we’re proud to say that three out of four people in the UK take advantage of flexible working. When it comes to working part time 11% of Zurich employees already do this and half of these opt for a four day week. But this is just the start for us.”

Steve is also keen to point out that work-life balance isn’t “just about working mums. There are all kinds of reasons people need a more flexible approach to work. It could be; to look after ageing parents, develop a portfolio career, study or simply have more time to invest in hobbies and interests.”

You can read the full blog Every Week is National Work Life Week at Zurich UK

There are also ways that working parents can utilise their legal rights to make life a little easier. Most people are aware of maternity and paternity leave, and shared parental leave, but even if your children are older there are still rights you can use.

“Reconciling work and childcare is a delicate balancing act. Children fall sick, nursery hours or breakfast club opening times change, or commutes are disrupted. Parents contact our Legal Advice Service every week because life and work clash, and they don’t know how to square the circle. Parental leave, flexible working, and time off for dependants can all be life buoys for parents trying to balance work and family life.”

Find out more about each of these in our online article Knowing your rights for work-life balance

And in celebration of some of the family-friendly organisations who are going above and beyond in their duty of care towards working parents and carers, Working Families has just announced the Top 30 Employers for Working Families. Employers large and small from across the public, private, and third sectors compete annually to gain a coveted place on the list.

Employers are assessed using Working Families’ Benchmark and are scored on four key areas to build a comprehensive picture of their flexible and family-friendly policies and practices that specifically support mothers, fathers and carers. These are:

  • integration to organisational strategy and culture – which looks at culture, attitude and how far flexible and family-friendly working practices have become embedded;
  • policy – which looks at the creation, development and deployment of flexible and family-friendly working policies;
  • consistent practice – which considers how well flexible and family-friendly working is supported; and
  • evidence and statistics – which looks at the effects of flexible and family-friendly working on the organisation, and their ability to understand those effects.

Working Families’ CEO, Jane van Zyl commented:

“We are delighted to recognise the 30 outstanding organisations that made our Top Employers for Working Families list this year.

These employers excelled in our rigorous benchmarking process, proving they are leading the way in building family-friendly and flexible workplaces. Crucially, they are not just putting policies in place—they are building cultures that support their employees’ wellbeing.”



Working Families is the UK’s leading work-life balance organisation.
The charity helps working parents and carers and their employers find a better balance between responsibilities at home and work.

Released On 11th Oct 2019

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