Top Employers for Working Families Awards 2011 - winners announced

Press Releases

27 Sep 2011

Last night, the winners of the Top Employers for Working Families Awards 2011 were announced at a ceremony hosted in London by Citi.

The awards (and benchmark report) were created in a collaboration between IES and Working Families.

90 organisations, representing around 1 million employees, entered data into the benchmarking system. There was a good mix of private and public sector and large and small employers. 53 organisations submitted a full set of data, and of these 30 organisations also entered for special awards. We found, this year, that the main challenges for organisations continue to be:

  • treatment of and equality for fathers
  • performance management outcomes and career development for flexible workers
  • role of line managers in flexible working
  • monitoring flexible working impacts

Mary Mercer, middle, presented the award to Henmans

Mary Mercer, middle, presented this award to Henmans as they are actively encouraging the promotion of staff who work flexibly and ensuring these staff get fair performance management reviews, which is something IES, as a co-creator of the top employers for working families benchmark, has been urging employers to do.

Mary Mercer from the Institute for Employment Studies commented that

‘This year’s awards have seen the number of organisations entering almost double, proving that flexible working policies remain high on their agenda during economically challenging times. This is because they offer advantages to both employers and their staff. Workers are better able to balance work with their needs and life outside of employment and employers find that as well as being the right thing to do by staff, a flexible approach also allows them to control costs and maximise productivity.”

‘But there are many areas for employers to improve on, such as pre-empting forthcoming legislation by improving accessibility to flexible working for fathers. It’s important to make sure mangers are well-trained and consistently fair in their approach to handling requests to work flexibly. Employees must also not be unfairly victimised by any performance management system when they choose to adopt flexible working arrangements.’

For a further discussion on the benchmark findings, awards or flexible working issues contact Mary Mercer

Full details of the winners can be found at

The Awards are part of Working Families' National Work-Life Week, from 26th-30th September 2011.

About IES

The Institute for Employment Studies is the UK’s leading independent, not-for-profit centre for research and evidence-based consultancy on employment, the labour market, and HR policy and practice.