Centrica wins ‘Best for Fathers’ employer award

6 October 2011

Centrica has won the 2011 ‘Best for Fathers’ award at the Top Employers for Working Families awards, organised by Working Families. Here is a brief summary of entries from the finalists in the ‘Best for Fathers’ category:

Policies afford fathers flexibility and time off to spend with their children. Paternity pay is enhanced, and fathers are allowed to phase back from paternity leave (OPL and APL), they are also able to split paternity leave. There is awareness that life events, like having a new baby, may temporarily affect performance and work can be adapted accordingly. Father-friendly events are held, and there is a father’s champion who communicates messages aimed at fathers and is a resource for other fathers to use. As a result, Centrica has a very high rate of men using the flexible working options policy.

Henmans LLP
Paternity leave is paid at enhanced rates for one week, with no qualifying period for employees. Paternity returners are able to phase back to work. This is in support of a culture which seeks to treat men and women equally, with several men at a senior level working flexibly and sharing care more or less equally with their partners. The key drive is one of promoting the idea that parents of either gender may have the same opportunities for caring for their children.

LSE’s policies for fathers are part of a wider organisation-wide strategy aiming to promote a good work-life balance and better wellbeing amongst its staff. The School aims to make it culturally unremarkable for fathers to be involved in caring for their children, so paternity pay is paid at full salary, and the leave is flexible: fathers can even take their leave before the birth if they wish or split it into as many blocks as required. LSE is also working on enhanced communications aimed specifically at fathers, and is planning a fathers mentoring programme and a series of presentations on issues important for new fathers, which will be available to both LSE staff and the partners of female employees at LSE.

Registers of Scotland
Fathers are given paid time off to attend up to three antenatal appointments and are able to use a very flexible flexitime system to take more time off if required. Qualifying fathers can take four weeks of fully paid paternity leave. Fathers are able to phase back from paternity leave, and work flexibly. Ten per cent of male employees work reduced hours. The emphasis is on the use of the extensive range of flexible working options to allow fathers to achieve a successful work-life balance.

The Fatherhood Institute offers a range of services to help employers develop more father-inclusive policies, including the Fathers@ web package and workplace seminars, and our pioneering Staying Connected courses for separated fathers. Find out more here.

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