Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has received an award for being recognised as a Carer Positive employer.
The Carer Positive award is presented to employers in Scotland who demonstrate a working environment where carers are valued and supported. This includes providing flexible working policies or simple practical measures which can make a big difference to carers.
Sue McLintock, Manager of the Carer Positive Awards for Carers Scotland presented the award to Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE.
Karen Moncrieff, Head of HR at HIE who was also present said: “We are delighted to be recognised as a Carer Positive employer. HIE acknowledges that employees with caring commitments need flexible working arrangements to meet their caring responsibilities and we support them to do this. It is very important that we allow them to fulfill their work potential by remaining in work if they wish, and offer a positive integration between home and work life.”
Sue said: “HIE has demonstrated a genuine commitment as well practical actions to support staff with caring responsibilities - it rightly deserves to be recognised as a Carer Positive employer. We are delighted to present this award and hope that it may inspire other organisations in the Highlands and Islands to join the growing number of Carer Positive organisations across Scotland.”
HIE also received a plaque to recognise the organisation as an accredited Living Wage employer. This means that every member of staff in HIE earns not just the minimum wage but the Living Wage. The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually, based on the cost of living in the UK.
In March this year, HIE was also successful at the Scottish Top Employers for Working Families Awards, winning the Best Large Public Sector Employer category. The awards recognise family friendly and flexible ways of working.
Furthermore, HIE has just signed up to the Social Impact Pledge which the Scottish Government has launched in order to increase the positive social impact public agencies have on their local communities. The pledge requires public sector organisations to commit to do at least three new things in order to work more collaboratively with their communities.
HIE has committed to incorporate community benefit clauses within its procurement strategy; to revise its volunteering policy to allow staff to spend up to two days per year volunteering within paid work time; and to incorporate social impact volunteering as a group project for staff on HIE’s graduate placement scheme.