Entries now open for the Working Families Best Practice Awards

?Working Families has opened entries for its 2018 Best Practice Awards for employers

Established in 2010, the awards showcase and celebrate employers who are offering flexibility for all their people and going the extra mile in their support for parents and carers. HR magazine is exclusive media partner of the awards.

New categories for this year are Best family network, Best for diverse families and The Government Equalities Office best returner programme.

The full list of categories is:

Best for mothers

Best for fathers

The Carers UK best for carers and eldercare

Best family network

Best for diverse families

Best innovation

Best for flexible recruitment

The Government Equalities Office best returner programme

Best for embedded flexibility

Best flexible working initiative

Best for line manager support

Best large private sector employer

Best small private sector employer

Best public sector employer

Best third sector employer

Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families, highlighted the way in which forward-thinking employers can gain competitive edge in challenging economic times through flexible working and family-friendly policies and cultures – and the dangers for employers who do not adopt such practices. She highlighted recent research by Working Families which found that one in five (18%) parents have deliberately stalled their careers due to their employers’ long working hour expectations.

“Working parents across the country told us that they’re stalling their careers because they can’t get the balance they need for their families,” she said. “But many employers have already recognised that a more supportive and flexible work culture enables them to make the most of the potential of the UK’s 11 million working parents.

“We want to showcase and celebrate the best practice which we know is happening in engaged, high-performing workplaces in all sectors, and look forward to being inspired by this year’s entries.”

Winners of last year’s awards included Lloyds Banking Group for the Best large private sector employer award, West Dunbartonshire Council for the Best public sector employer award, and Inspiring Scotland for the Best third sector employer award.

Award-winning ideas in 2017 included: flexible family leave allowance; senior father role models; an agile hiring toolkit for line managers; a carers register to identify staff with caring responsibilities; and flexible recruitment by default.

For more information and to enter visit the Working Families website. The closing date for entries is 23 April.