launches 2020 Best Practice Report

Learning from practice in flexible and family friendly working is essential if we are to address the kind of disruption we are seeing in the form of the coronavirus and global heating as well as the widespread skills shortages across sectors.

A new report seeks to highlight concrete examples of employers who do just that, how they do so and the challenges they have overcome.

The employers represented in Best Practice Report 2020 are winners of the’s 10th anniversary Top Employer Awards or have been highly commended. They cover a range of sectors, from teaching, disability support and social listening to gardening, technology, finance and local government.’s most recent annual survey shows access to flexible working continues to be a huge issue for parents, with 43% of mums say they don’t have enough flexibility in their job and 62% of parents on parental leave saying they would consider another job if flexible working was turned down.

Career progression for flexible workers is also key with 80% of mums feeling stuck in the job they are in because they don’t think they will be able to find a new one with the same degree of flexibility they now have.

Meanwhile, a recent’s survey of employers found that, although 85% of employers think demand for flexible working is likely to increase, over four in 10 [42%] would like more support to implement it.

The Best Practice Report attempts to do just that by providing concrete examples of employers who have implemented flexible working or other family friendly policies successfully as well as case studies of employees which show the positive impact this has had.

The employers featured are:

Vodafone UK – who talk about their global returners policy which enables those returning to do so on a reduced week at full pay and also their Global Domestic Violence and Abuse Policy

London Borough of Waltham Forest – the first large employer to introduce premature baby leave

Food Standards Agency – who talk about the way they have transformed their workplace culture by trialling and embedding different ways of working through three different contracts – home-enabled, multi-location and office/site based

Social listening company Convosphere, highly commended for its highly flexible approach which enables staff to work remotely, including from their home countries when they travel abroad

HP Inc UK – recognised for its approach to promoting more women to senior positions

Aviva – recognised not only for its pioneeering equal parental leave policy, but the measurable success this has had

Now Teach – highly commended for its innovative approach to getting people from diverse backgrounds into teaching and promoting flexible working in the profession

Motor dealership Arnold Clark – who talk about the way they have changed their shifts, reducing the traditional six-day week for sales staff and bringing in more women

Independent Living Fund Scotland – which has a highly flexible workforce, many of whom are home-based, and has led the way in tackling issues such as the menopause at work

Gardening firm Carty Services – recognised for its flexibility and family support

The judges named Carolanne Minashi, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at UBS, their Working Mums Champion. She speaks extensively about the challenges and successes associated with embedding a more flexible and supportive culture at the bank.

The Best Practice Report is sponsored by construction firm Morgan Sindall Infrastructure. HR Director Katie Smith said: At Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, we want to ensure we are supporting all our employees so that they can design their own work life to suit their individual needs and look forward to coming to work. This Best Practice Report highlights some fantastic case studies and ideas that all employers should be able to benefit from and use in their own workplaces to make this a reality.”

Gillian Nissim, founder of, said:”The Best Practice Report traces developments over the last 10 years in flexible and family friendly working and highlights practical ways employers can embed the kind of work culture needed to address the challenges of the 21st century. We hope it will promote discussion and inspire other employers. We recognise that changing to a more flexible culture is not easy, particularly for older organisations, and that employers need support to move things forward and reap all the business benefits it can bring. Recent events have shown that good, well thought through flexible working is absolutely vital in an age of continuous disruption and skills shortages.”’s 2020 Top Employer Awards are now open for entries. This year there are two new categories: Best for Older Workers and Best for Innovation. The full list of categories is:

  • Best for Returners Award
  • Recruitment and Talent Attraction Award
  • Family Support Award
  • Career Progression Award
  • SME Award
  • Best for Dads Award
  • Best for Older Workers Award
  • Best for Innovation Award
  • Working Mums Champion Award
  • An Overall Top Employer Award will be chosen from the winners of the other categories.

More details here.

*The 2020 Best Practice Report can be accessed at:

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