Barclays - a Family Friendly company
We are thrilled to be part of the Mumsnet Family Friendly programme. We have worked with Mumsnet for over three years now to bring together family finance tips, ideas and business support.
Across the organisation, Barclays strives to be family friendly, from high street branches to products and services that reflect the needs of families in the UK today.
1. Listening to customers
At Barclays we have an ongoing commitment to listening to customers and using the amazing insights and ideas from you to help shape the products and services we deliver – from mortgages to mobile apps.
We employ around 40,000 people within our Personal and Corporate Bank in the UK alone, and we know how important it is that we are flexible to their needs, whether that's working hours, job-sharing or the many other diverse challenges they may face.
3. Tried and tested
The Family Friendly team are in the process of talking to lots of our colleagues about the measures in place at Barclays, as well as sending mystery shoppers into our high street branches to carry out surveys, so we can find out from you how family friendly you think Barclays is.
Sabrina Clarke, Head of Diversity for Personal and Corporate Banking at Barclays, gave us a rundown of what's currently happening to make sure we're family friendly, inside and out.
1. Aim to provide information and support to working families and to parents
We have networks for various groups of people within Barclays, including one for working families and carers. We take a very holistic approach, providing support for many groups, including those caring for elderly parents or those dealing with disabilities within their families
2. Policies in place to allow flexibility
Colleagues can better balance their personal and professional commitments. This can include part-time working; term-time working; compressed weeks, meaning five days in four; and secondments, depending on the needs of the individual. Our Dynamic Working Campaign, which launched in November 2014, guides colleagues on "how to work their lives". We have also worked to create flexibility through technology, so people are able to work remotely, whether that's on iPads or laptops, provided by Barclays.
3. Policies for parents and guardians
We also have policies to help throughout family life – from support during fertility treatment to maternity and paternity leave or caring for relatives – and we take a completely inclusive approach with this support for same-sex and blended families. And we ensure that line management are aware and able to explain the policies in place for their teams, which includes any support they need in communicating sensitive issues or messages.
4. Employee networks
Our networks range from the Women's Initiative Network (WIN) to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) networks to Working Families networks. These networks provide much valued insight and feedback to continuously review and update policies – for example our disability network, named Reach, has recently launched a year- long “This is me” campaign on mental health.
5. Giving young people a chance
Barclays currently delivers an industry leading Apprenticeship programme. The programme extends across our UK operations and aims to support the most disadvantaged young people into work. Having already surpassed our goal to deliver 1,000 apprenticeships by 2013, we now aim to deliver a further 1,000 apprenticeships by 2015, and launch the programme across the UK to include specialist roles such as Digital, HR and Marketing.
LifeSkills is our free, curriculum-linked education programme launched in March 2013. A growing consortium of schools, students and businesses are collaborating to give young people the employability skills and opportunities to realise their full potential.
6. Inclusive approach into everything we do
There is no such thing as a typical colleague or customer. Addressing family and societal issues is also very important to us, whether it is through award winning products, like our 2013 'What Mortgage' award winning Family Springboard mortgage.
Family friendly ambitions
1. Creating a job-share register for after maternity leave
We are also ensuring measures are in place to help women return to work with confidence, such as Talking Talent, who coach maternity returners and Capability Jane, who specialise in job share returners.
That development includes their families' needs. Whether it's a service, like Barclays Pingit or Mobile Banking, which are designed to save you time when you're doing your everyday banking chores, or a programme like LifeSkills. Barclays are working with lots of organisations, including Mumsnet, to meet the ambitious aims of LifeSkills – to help get 1 million young people ready for work by 2015. This programme focuses on the value of work placements and skills training to give young people the skills they need for the world of work, and it's open to young people all over the UK.
When it comes to building a family friendly bank for the UK, we spend lots of our time listening to customers about how we can keep improving on what we've achieved so far – whether that's developing new products or making our branches more accessible.
We're really excited to get all the results of the Family Friendly Review, but until then, look out for more ways you can let us know your thoughts.