Working families encompasses employees who have parental or carer responsibilities, and the scope of this workstream covers a broad range of issues pertinent to working carers, working mums, working dads and working parents.
The focus of much effort in the area of working families has been in relation to working mothers and specifically the pre-leave, during leave and immediate return to work phase. This narrow definition of working families often misses the different family roles and situations that can impact an individual’s ability to thrive at work. The working families’ subgroup is designed to raise awareness of the different needs of working mothers, fathers and those with other caring responsibilities, using events and activities to positively impact cultural change, enabling each of these groups to succeed in their careers.
Our priorities for 2022 are:
Work with member firms to support equal parental leave policies to provide a level playing field for all employees. Launch Diversity Project Working Families Best Practice Guide and encourage member firms to make a pledge to review the support they offer for working families, and to work towards the gold standard set out in this guide. Periodically track outcomes of those firms making the pledge.
Host a Working Families webinar to showcase the Best Practice Guide, to include senior role models and case studies to highlight what good looks like. Continue social media campaigns highlighting the positive experiences of fathers who have taken enhanced Parental Leave. Repeat High Level Parental Leave Survey of member firms to track progress being made on enhancing parental leave policies and improvements on take up of Paternity leave.
Help firms to make a cultural shift on work life integration that accommodates working families’ personal responsibilities, whilst continuing to be supportive of their career development.
Share best practice examples of ways to support parents pre, during and post Maternity and Paternity Leave, at the senior management and line manager levels. Advocate for the adoption of the Diversity Project’s SMART working manifesto, where all employees, regardless of their caring responsibilities, are confident to ask for and to take family leave, and that flexible working is a right from day 1 within an organisation.
Highlight the need for member firms to incorporate a carers policy, given the continued trajectory that a vast number of employees will assume carer responsibilities during the course of their career.
Provide member firms with a Best Practice Carers Policy template that encompasses every aspect of this under recognised responsibility, to include Carers Passport Scheme. Incorporate more in-depth carer support guidance in an updated edition of the Working Families Best Practice Guide.