Asda - a Family Friendly company
This is what ASDA has to say about the Mumsnet Family Friendly programme:
Family is really important to us at Asda and so we're really honoured to be part of the Mumsnet Family Friendly Programme. As a huge supporter of Mumsnet we like to maintain high standards that support families, both as an employer and as a retailer.
Over half of our colleagues are female, which means that as well as understanding what is important to the mum that shops in our store, we also recognise the importance of understanding what matters to the mum who works in it. We know mums need to be able to juggle a huge range of responsibilities within the home and their work, and we go above and beyond to help make life easier for them.
To help our busy mums keep all the plates spinning we have developed several initiatives and flexible working schemes that are tailored around family life, such as 'First day of school' leave and 'IVF' leave. We also have a mentoring programme called 'Mum2Mum'. Mum2Mum was launched in March 2011, with the aim of providing as much support as possible to our mums-to-be and new mums returning to work. The idea was born from the understanding that having a child is the biggest change that will ever happen in a woman's life – and often that change can feel even more daunting when combined with the prospect of juggling motherhood and a career.
Mum2Mum pairs mums to be with existing working mothers within the business, who then act as a mentor. When mums notify their managers that they are pregnant, they are given the opportunity to pair up with a mentor within the business, who can provide them with additional support during their pregnancy. During their maternity leave, colleagues are encouraged to stay in regular contact with their mentor – either via email or through 'Keep in Touch' meetings, to talk through how they are feeling about returning to work, and gain advice on how juggling work and motherhood can work in practice.
But our support isn't just for mums. All our flexible working programmes are open to Dads too - meaning parents can make the most of their family time.
Obviously Asda wouldn't be the business it is today without the support of our loyal shoppers, so it's integral to our day-to-day working that our decisions have their best interests at heart.
We were the first retailer to sign up to Mumsnet's 'Let Girls be Girls' campaign. We have an in house panel that reviews our range of George children's clothing before they it goes on shelf. If we were to ever have any complaints about any children's products we have pledged to put them back under review. However, since we instated the 'Let Girls be Girls' policy we have had no issues or complaints from our customers.
Earlier this year, Asda was the first retailer to make folic acid, an essential vitamin for pregnant women, free of charge to all women pregnant or trying for a baby. A three month supply is included in a 'Healthy Pregnancy' guide, created in partnership with children's charity, Tommy's, along with products from our baby range, 'Little Angels'.
We were also the first retailer, and remain the only pharmacy, to offer not for profit IVF treatments through our stores on private prescription. We're committed to helping save people thousands of pounds on the treatment they need to help them start a family.
We also make time to listen to our Asda mums by holding regular groups across the UK to see what we can improve on, what new services we can offer and to hear firsthand the issues families have day in day out, so that we can have a positive impact on their busy lives. One of the issues raised was the impracticality of the shopping trollies when you have a tiny baby in a carrier. It has taken two years of innovation and hard work, but we have managed to create a trolley that is purpose built for a baby carrier and meets all the health and safety requirements that let mums and babies have a hassle-free shop.
Our work is by no means complete and we will continue to work hard to ensure that our customers and our 175, 000 colleagues are proud to say they are part of the Asda family.