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It’s not exactly news that many organisations are struggling to maintain the right staffing levels at the moment. Add to that the worrying lack of skills, Brexit, Covid-19 aftereffects, the great resignation, an ageing workforce and the rise in employee expectations and some employers are really struggling.

But what if I told you that there was a simple way to:

  • Attract and retain the best talent
  • Increase staff loyalty and retention rates,
  • Boost productivity and morale?

… would you be interested in finding out more?

People centric

The modern workplace is constantly evolving and it’s more important than ever for organisations to be inclusive, flexible and people centric. Employers must be sympathetic, unintrusive, supportive and helpful enabling their employees to successfully balance work and family responsibilities. If your employees are dealing with big life events, the way you react will form a lasting perception of your company.

As an employer, many of your staff will be either parents or caregivers. These two groups of people require extra help, support and flexibility because of their caring responsibilities, whether that’s for children or older relatives. By implementing family friendly workplace policies, your employees can benefit from three essential resources that they require – time, finances and services – meaning they are better able to balance their work and family and promote wellbeing.

What do we mean by family friendly?

Family friendly policies include such elements as:

  1. Flexible and hybrid working. This might include flexitime, job sharing and part-time work
  2. Fertility and family-building benefits
  3. Maternity leave
  4. Paternity leave
  5. Adoption leave
  6. Parental bereavement leave
  7. Shared parental leave to share work and childcare between men and woman
  8. Additional childcare provisions and benefits
  9. Bereavement leave
  10. Carer’s leave

Mindset change

There are many initiatives and pieces of legislation already in place designed to encourage businesses to be more family minded, however, uptake has been slow. For example shared parental leave currently has a take up of 3-4% of eligible parents, against a government target of 25%. Whilst only a third of eligible fathers took paternity leave in the last year, with some suggesting that the cost of living crisis makes them more hesitant to miss working hours.


It’s a good time for employers to think about how they want to be seen, both by their employees, their competition and in the marketplace. Whether that be diversity or inclusivity. But remember that introducing any family-friendly rights that go beyond the employer’s legal duties will need to be carefully thought through.

Whatever you decide, be clear about what is required of the employee. Good record keeping and paperwork management are essential, as well is ensuring the impact of any changes on payroll, pension contributions and benefits in kind are both understood and communicated.

How can I help?

If you need further help, advice and support on how to draft and implement new family friendly policies, please caroline.robertson@actifhr.co.uk for non-obligatory advice.