WM People reveals Top Employer Awards shortlist

WM People announces the shortlist for its 12th Top Employer Awards, celebrating the best in flexible, family-friendly and diverse employment.

top employer awards 2021


Twenty employers have been shortlisted for the 2022 WM People’s  Top Employer awards which celebrate the very best companies for diversity and inclusion, flexible working, career progression for women, mental health and family support.

This year’s awards, the 12th annual awards, recognise best practice in the face of Covid-19, outstanding work on diversity and inclusion and the ongoing efforts of HR teams up and down the country in the face of huge challenges relating to talent attraction and family support as employers have adapted to fast-changing circumstances.

The shortlisted employers will be reviewed by the Awards panel of expert judges, which this year includes two new judges to reflect some of the major challenges of the last year around career progression and older workers.

The Top Employer Awards 2022 are sponsored by NHS Professionals. There are eight categories: Best for Mental Health, Best for Returners, Best for Flexible Working, Best for Family Support, Best for Career Progression for Women, Best for Diversity and Inclusion, Best for Older Workers and Best for SMEs.

There will also be an Overall Top Employer Award awarded based on the winners of all the other categories.

The winners will be announced at an online ceremony on 25th January. The event will include a Q & A with the judges and a panel of experts, sponsored by Roche, on the work life cycle: tackling the career pinchpoints in a working life. Experts include David Allison, Co-founder and CEO of Get My First Job; Rob Baker, Founder & Chief Positive Deviant of Tailored Thinking; and Siran Cao and Mel Faxon, co-founders of Mirza, a start-up for working parents.

The shortlisted companies are:

Best for mental health

Sponsored by Kearney

This award celebrates employers who have been exemplary in the way they have sought to protect their employees’ mental health.

Shortlisted:  Aggregate Industries; Bromley Healthcare CIC; Capco; Inmarsat: Sunbelt Rentals; and The Gym Group

Best for Returners

This award is for employers who demonstrate stand-out programmes or initiatives aimed at returners – those who have taken a career break and are looking to get back into the workplace

Shortlisted: AWE; Capgemini; FDM Group; and Tech Returners

Best for Flexible Working

Sponsored by McDonald’s Restaurant Ltd

This award is for employers who show how they promote and manage flexible working and encourage a flexible culture in their organisation.

Shortlisted: Inmarsat; The Gym Group; Vistry Group; Financial Services Compensation Scheme; and Roche

Best for Family Support

This award is for employers who demonstrate how their policies and practice support working families and carers.

Shortlisted: Inmarsat; John Lewis; and Monzo Bank

Best for Career Progression for Women

This award is for employers who demonstrate initiatives aimed at developing women’s leadership potential, including women’s networks, mentoring initiatives, outreach, training and return to work programmes.

Shortlisted: FDM Group; Financial Services Compensation Scheme; and McDonald’s

Best for Diversity and Inclusion

This award is for organisations who demonstrate actions taken to ensure equality of opportunity for all.

Shortlisted:  McDonald’s; Financial Services Compensation Scheme; Inmarsat; Amey; Aggregate Industries; and SMS Plc

Best for Older Workers

Sponsored by Financial Services Compensation Scheme

This award is for employers who are leading the way on best practice for older workers and can demonstrate the impact of that work.

Shortlisted: FDM Group and QA

Best for SMEs

This award is for SMEs who demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices.

Shortlisted: Form 3 Financial Cloud and Tech Returners

Gillian Nissim, Founder of WMpeople.co.uk, the umbrella group for workingmums.co.ukworkingdads.co.uk and workingwise.co.uk, says: “This has again been an extremely challenging year for HR, with so much uncertainty and the need to be extremely agile to adapt to a fast-changing environment and one where talent attraction and retention are high on the agenda due to skills shortages.

“We have been very impressed by the quality of entries to this year’s Awards. Shortlisting has been very difficult as many employers have demonstrated that, despite all the challenges, they can continue to innovate and improve their offering to employees and are aware of the vital need to do so.

Those shortlisted all offer stand-out examples of good practice and we look forward to sharing that with other employers in our Best Practice Report next year.

“We hope that the challenges facing the labour market and the need for greater inclusivity will continue to drive innovation and progress so that everyone is able to fulfil their potential at work.”

The Awards will be judged by an expert panel made up of Gillian Nissim, founder of WMpeople.co.uk; Andy Lake, director of Flexibility.co.uk; Jennifer Liston-Smith,  Head of Thought Leadership for Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions; Dave Dunbar,  Head of Digital Workspace at the Department of Work and Pensions; Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management; and new judges Bukola Adisa, Founder at Career Masterclass, and Patrick Thomson, Policy Institute Director at Shaw Trust.

*A copy of the Best Practice Report based on the 2021 Top Employer Awards is available here.

If you would like to attend the Awards Ceremony followed by the Diversity Q&A on 25th January 2021, please email us at [email protected]. Attendee space is limited so we will be in touch to confirm your space.

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