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HIE’s family friendly approach is a winning one

11 March 2016

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) was successful at the Scottish Top Employers for Working Families Awards in Edinburgh yesterday (March 10).

The organisation won the Best Large Public Sector Employer at the awards which celebrate progressive organisations which recognise family friendly and flexible ways of working.

It is recognised the approach is not only good for people but good for business, bringing increased productivity and performance, improving morale and wellbeing, and enhancing staff retention and recruitment.

The awards are organised by Family Friendly Working Scotland - a partnership of Working Families, Fathers Network Scotland, Parenting Across Scotland and the Scottish Government.

One of the case studies used in the HIE application was Rachel Hunter, area manager in Shetland. Over a four year period Rachel was promoted to two senior roles, took maternity leave and on five occasions varied her working arrangements to accommodate childcare needs.

Commenting on the experience, she said: “I have found HIE’s positive culture in promoting gender equality, delivered through many employee policies, extremely empowering, enabling and motivating. HIE has enabled me to develop a very fulfilling career and break through that proverbial “glass ceiling” that exists for many women in Scotland.”

Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell said: “Embracing flexible and family friendly ways of working isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do so that employers retain talented, productive staff. Balancing family life with a career can be challenging and every worker in Scotland will be juggling work with family or other commitments.

“Family Friendly Working Scotland supports employers who offer flexibility to workers and these awards celebrate the very best examples of this from across Scotland. The finalists also prove it’s not just large employers who can afford to offer family friendly working arrangements to employees.

“I’d like to congratulate all winners and I hope they’ll inspire organisations across both the public and private sector to look at how flexible, family friendly working can benefit both them and their employees.”

Sarah Jackson OBE, CEO Working Families who chaired The Scottish Top Employers for Working Families judging panel said: “There clearly is an appetite in Scotland for organisations to create supportive and family friendly workplaces. The quality of entries to the 2016 Scottish Top Employers for Working Families Awards was excellent, with organisations of all sizes and sectors demonstrating that family friendly working policies and practices are good for business performance and good for people.

“We still have a long way to go to ensure that every employee in Scotland is afforded a positive integration between home and work life – too many working families currently find themselves time poor, cash poor and often both. However I am delighted to see so many of Scotland’s workplaces leading the way in creating new ways of working that are good for business, people, family life, society and the economy.”

Winners of the Scottish Top Employers for Working Families Awards are:
The Fathers Network Scotland Best for all Stages of Fatherhood Award
Winner – Barclays
Highly Commended – Scottish Parliament
The Carers Scotland Best for Carers and Eldercare Award
Winner – West Dunbartonshire Council
Highly Commended – Standard Life
The Parenting Across Scotland Best for Childcare Award
Winner – Milnbank Housing Association
Best Small Employer
Winner – Quorum Network Resources
Best Large Public Sector Employer
Winner – Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Highly Commended – North Ayrshire Council
Best Large Private Sector Employer
Winner – Scottish Power
Highly Commended – BAE


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