British Army wins Working Families Best for Mothers award

The British Army is proud to be named as joint winners (with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield) of the Best for Mothers award by work-life balance charity Working Families, as part of the 2021 Best Practice Awards, it has been announced today.

The awards celebrate employers whose stand-out cultures and working practices are leading the way in flexible and employee-friendly workplaces.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan ‘Trigger’ Buxton, Chair of the Army Parents’ Network, said: “This is a great achievement for the British Army. Support for Army parents continues to grow year on year, and it is fantastic that we have been recognised in this way.”

In 2020 the British Army reviewed and updated its commitment to gender equality by publishing a revised 10-year plan to increase the representation, retention and progression of women. And, it is committed to achieving a 72 per cent increase in the number of women in the organisation.

Alongside a Parents’ Network, a Breastfeeding Network was launched in June 2020 to support mothers who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The network offers essential assistance to mothers through their breastfeeding journey by offering peer support, advice and information. 

As well as the support networks, other changes include a maternity and breastfeeding passport, which details the legal requirements a mother can expect at work, the maternity leave offer, shared parental leave and flexible working policy, Defence Wrap Around Childcare and Future Accommodation trials , all of which are already improving the lived experience for women, and the retention of personnel.

Whether you are a mother serving in the army, or someone with caring responsibilities working in banking, our winners are shining examples of why supporting your staff team to have a good balance of work and family life isn’t just the ‘right thing’ to do – it makes great business sense too" Jane van Zyl, Chief Executive of Working Families

According to the Working Families charity, this year has seen an exceptional quality of entries, as organisations across sectors and sizes work to support their teams through the pandemic.

The winners have all gone above and beyond for the parents and carers in their workforce, and demonstrate that from the army to banking, and from international companies to small charities, all sectors can build flexibility and family-friendly support into their job roles.

Jane van Zyl, Chief Executive of Working Families and chair of the judging panel said: “After an extremely challenging year for working parents and employers alike, we are thrilled to be sharing our Award-winning organisations for 2021, celebrating exceptional best practice and support for parents and carers across a wide range of sectors.

“This last year has shown that flexible, family-friendly working practices are possible in many more jobs and sectors than previously thought, and the breadth of our winning organisations demonstrates that. Whether you are a mother serving in the army, or someone with caring responsibilities working in banking, our winners are shining examples of why supporting your staff team to have a good balance of work and family life isn’t just the ‘right thing’ to do – it makes great business sense too.

“As we move out of the pandemic into the ‘new normal’, we are determined to use what we’ve learned to benefit more of the UK’s 13 million working parents. When employees have more control over their time, we see improved engagement and retention, as well as better organisational performance. Our Best Practice Awards winners 2021 are leading the way in making this a reality for thousands of parents and carers.”

Working Families is the UK’s work-life balance charity. They help working parents and carers—and their employers—find a better balance between responsibilities at home and in the workplace.

The Working Families Best Practice Awards 2021: www.workingfamilies.org.uk/employers/bestpracticeawards/