The University of Suffolk has been named in the top 30 in the UK of family friendly workplaces for two consecutive years.
The Top Employers for Working Families Benchmark covers all aspects of workplace agility and flexibility and how employers support the work-life balance of all their staff, particularly parents and carers, across the organisation. It highlights organisations that are keen to reap the bottom line benefits of an agile and engaged workforce.
The University of Suffolk was named alongside long established firms and organisations such as Bank of England, Ministry of Justice and Public Health England.
Teresa Steward, Head of HR Projects, who is leading on this initiative, said “With rapid demographic, social and technological change it is so important to continue to learn how we can build greater flexibility as an organisation.”
“To remain in the Top 30 employers is a great result. Over the last year we have working with our staff and managers, exploring flexibility in a changing world and what this means for how we manage and deliver high performing flexible teams.”
The University considers flexible working requests for all their job vacancies and encourages work-life balance through several other initiatives which include a suite of family friendly policies, some of which go beyond statutory requirements, to help staff balance the demands of work and personal life; related health promotion campaigns to build awareness on support available; and an informal Family Network which provides an opportunity for staff and students with a range of caring responsibilities to come together sharing experiences and help the University develop its practices and culture to support flexibility and family friendliness.
Teresa added “We have three generations at work now with differing needs in balancing their personal life and work. Flexibility in how we operate is a key factor to encouraging a happy and productive workforce, and attracting the best staff. Over the next year, we will continue to learn and evolve on this subject – there are still lots of work to be done. Working closing with Working Families we will determine appropriate initiatives to develop to further strengthen not just our employment offer but extend to our study offer for our students too.”
Richard Lister, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Suffolk, said “We are very pleased to be recognised as a leading employer for working families. We will continue to develop, improve and demonstrate that we can do this in the context of a successful, competitive business.”
Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families, said “Congratulations to the employers, all building truly flexible, agile workplaces fit for the future. This year, more than nine out of ten organisations told us that their senior leaders support flexibility and more than half reported that they include flexibility and family-friendly working in their values or mission statement. What we need now is for flexibility to become part of ‘business as usual’, reflected in strategic planning, recruitment, project management, organisational policies and everything in between.”
Winners were announced at the Working Families Conference held in London.
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