WM People launches Best Practice Report 2022

WMPeople.co.uk has launched this year’s Best Practice Report as entries open for the 2023 Top Employer Awards.

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WMPeople.co.uk* has launched its 2022 Best Practice Report, which highlights employer best practice in everything from flexible working and family support to career progression.

McDonald’s scooped the overall award, as well as winning Best for career progression for women. Last year’s gender pay audit figures showed McDonald’s had achieved a zero percent gender pay gap across restaurants and head office. Of its 140K+ employees, 49.5% were male at the end of 2021 and 50.5% were female. The move towards gender balance is part of a major push by McDonald’s on women’s career development since 2005 when just 5% of senior leaders were female. That has included active membership of Inclusive Employers and the Business in the community Gender Campaign. By 2018 a third of the senior leadership team were women and the company set a 45% target in late 2020 which it exceeded by September 2021. Its goal now is to maintain its 50/50 gender balance by ensuring gender parity at all levels of the talent pipeline.

Other awards included one for Best for Family Support, won by John Lewis Partnership. In the report, representatives speak about the company’s equal parental leave, the first in the retail sector, and its reproductive health policies as well as its flexible first approach. Rebecca Candy, Change Manager and Co-Chair of JLP’s Working Parents Network, says: “We are really serious about being the most inclusive workplace and in order to be inclusive we need to address the gender pay gap and one part of that is the disparity in parental leave for co-parents. Equal parental leave will free mums to come back and allow dads to bond with their children and set family life differently from the outset. It’s not just about money and benefits, but the value we attach to being serious about inclusion.”

Best practice

The Best Practice Report includes interviews with all the winners of this year’s Top Employer Awards and individual employee case studies. The employers represented span a number of different sectors, including construction and technology. In addition to McDonald’s and JLP, they include the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Tech Returners, Roche, QA and Aggregate Industries.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme [FSCS] focuses on its work on Diversity and Inclusion. Roche talks about its How We Roll programme which ensures a consistent approach to flexibility across the organisation and also about its location agnostic approach, which enables it to recruit people from any part of the UK. How we roll was the result of extensive consultation and a successful pilot. “We wanted to expand people’s horizons and see that flexible working works both ways and is about more than working from home,” says Sam Eustace-Smith, Employee Experience Partner at Roche. “We wanted to build people’s trust and ensure that flexible working was guilt-free. We knew we had a good culture, but we wanted to look at what else we needed to do and what was missing.”

QA speaks about the work it does to recruit and retain older workers. Jo Saunders, a senior delivery manager, says, “QA has always been very supportive and inclusive, which is why I have been here for 16 years, but this has given me a way to help others and to make it an even better place to work,” she says.

And Aggregate Industries speaks in depth about how it has tackled the high suicide rate in the industry and how it aims to reach all workers to offer mental health support. For instance, the company launched a podcast with an occupational health expert so that those who are on site can listen to it while working. Aggregate has also been putting tri-boards on lamp posts on operational sites with posters or QR codes which workers can scan to get information about mental health.

Top Employer Awards 2023

The aim of the Report, sponsored by McDonald’s, and the Top Employer Awards is to spread employer best practice. The launch of the Report coincides with the opening of entries to the 2023 Top Employer Awards.

This year’s Awards, sponsored by NHS Professionals, will be held in person on 7th February 2023. The judges are: Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People;* Andy Lake, editor of Flexibility.co.uk; Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Thought Leadership at Bright Horizons Work + Family Solutions; Dave Dunbar, Head of Digital Workspace at the Department for Work and Pensions; Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management; and new judge Salma Shah, Founder of Mastering Your Power Coach Training.

The categories are Best for Flexible Working, Best for Returners, Best for Mental Health, Best for Dads, Best for Family Support, Best for SMEs, Best for Diversity & Inclusion, Best for Older Workers and Best for Career Progression for Women.

The ceremony which will take place in London will include a keynote speech from Jane Portas, Co-founder of Insuring Women’s Futures. The deadline for entries is 28 October 2022.
*WMPeople.co.uk is the umbrella group for workingdads.co.uk, workingmums.co.uk, and workingwise.co.uk.

Request a copy of the Best Practice Report here

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