UK's best employers for working mothers and families

15 November 2017 4 min. read
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Four members of the professional services industry have been listed in the Top 30 Employers for Working Families ranking. The UK list, compiled annually by the Working Families group, commended Deloitte, EY, Oliver Wyman and financial services firm UBS AG for their flexibility to accommodate employees with families.

The Top 30 Employers for Working Families were unveiled at the annual National Work Life Week Conference hosted in London, during October. Established by Working Families in 2010, the benchmark is UK-wide and open to all Working Families’ employer members, having been launched as a method for employers to see whether they are ahead or behind the curve in the development of flexible and family friendly working, along with receiving support from Working Families – the group responsible for organising the event and list.

In order to qualify for the ranking, employers are asked to answer in-depth questions, being scored on firms’ cultures of flexibility, the deployment of workplace flexibility, the consistency at which it is applied, and the results flexibility has boosted in that the organisation. These four key areas are used to build a comprehensive picture of their flexible and family friendly working environment. In 2017, the top 30 employers include organisations from England, Scotland and Wales, as well as large and small, public and private sector organisations.

Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families, said, “Congratulations to the wide range of organisations whose flexible, agile workplaces have earnt them a much-coveted place on 2017’s list of Top 30 Employers for Working Families. The annual benchmark provides a clear picture, not just of current practice, but also the evolving way in which organisations think about work life balance and flexible working.”

Top 10 Employers for working families

Professional services

This year, among representatives from the banking, government, law, education, housing and retail sectors, four professional services firms also made the grade. While the list is not ordered specifically, Working Families do single out the absolute best 10 in the selection, with the rest of the firms grouped 11-30. Two professional service firms made the top grade, with Big Four rivals EY and Deloitte both making the top 10, after both the firms recently demonstrated that their gender pay-gaps were shrinking, earlier this year.

The pair were joined in the latter segment of the list by industrial compatriots Oliver Wyman, who recently supported the roll-out of the pro-free movement ‘We L.O.V.E Europe’ campaign, and Swiss financial services giant UBS AG.

Other industries

The financial sector meanwhile dominated the upper third of the list. Alongside credit card provider American Express, Barclays Bank, Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland all made the top 10. Beyond that, the sector was represented in the list of 30 by the Bank of England, Citi, the Royal Bank of Canada and the Yorkshire Building Society.

Law firm Pinsent Masons also entered the top 10. The group were joined by a significant contingent from the legal sector, including Allen & Overy, Hogan Lovells – who recently provided legal advice to Deloitte regarding their cybersecurity breach – Berwin Leighton Paisner, Simmons & Simmons, Mayer Brown and DWF – with law firms making up the largest presence of a single industry in the ranking.

Top 11-30 Employers for working families

Government and public sector bodies also made up a large portion of the groups commended by Working Families. In the top 10, the Intellectual Property Office and the Crown Prosecution Service – which is connected to law, but is a state entity – were found to be best at providing their employees with flexibility. Meanwhile in the top 30, the Ministry of Justice also factored, alongside the National Assembly for Wales, Public Health England, and the Independent Living Fund Scotland.

The final space in the top 10 was occupied by the housing sector. Lewes-based housing association Southdown Housing was commended for its support of its staff’s work-life balance, showing that smaller, more localised entities could also gain recognition from the list.

The rest of the top 30 were filled by a single retail presence – that of international shopping mall chain Westfield Europe – and three higher education institutions. Imperial College London – recently listed as the second most innovative university in Europe – LSE and the University of Suffolk all made the ranking.