Family-friendly Firms Recognised
Businesses that can demonstrate outstanding support for employees who are parents or carers are being called on to enter the Working Families Awards, and have their achievements recognised.
A total of 100 entrants will be selected for the Working Families’ Top Employers for Working Families list, which will be sent to the national and trade press. Award winners will receive publicity in the national and local media. All firms will also receive a benchmarking report to enable them to compare their measures with other firms.
The 15 awards categories are open to businesses of any size, but there is a specific category for small and medium-sized businesses, the Best SME award.
The other awards that are most relevant to small firms are:
- Best for Maternity
- Best for Flexible Working
- Best for Fathers
- Best Innovation
- Best Financial Services
- Best Professional Services
- Best Retail.
To apply, businesses need to complete an online survey on the types of measures they have introduced, explaining why they should be considered for the particular award.
“For a small firm it’s not always a priority to get a formal policy in place beyond what is legally required, but often smaller firms can be more creative and move more quickly than the large companies, so they have an equal chance of winning most of these awards,”
said Working Families marketing consultant, Sharon Mason.
“For example, for the Best Innovation category, I would actually expect smaller firms to have an advantage as they are often better at implementing new ideas quickly. The awards will be judged by a panel of specialist practitioners so they won’t just look at the ideal — they will look at what happens in practice.”
According to Mason, the business that stands out for the Best SME award will be one that has gone beyond the legal requirements for flexible working and other measures that support parents and carers.
“Firms that have done something that is a bit different or have really asked what their employees need and responded to that would stand out. Case studies can also work well — entrants should include an example in their application of how a measure has benefited a particular employee.”
The deadline for entries is 30 June. There is a £125 fee to enter the awards unless businesses are Working Families members.
To enter the awards, visit the Working Families website.