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Best family friendly practice in your workplace - what support do you get from your employer? Share your story and you could win £200 from Matalan NOW CLOSED

(96 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Sep-15 14:30:03

As part of our Family Friendly programme we'd love to hear about how your workplace has helped you cope as a parent (or when you became a parent) or how your partners workplace supports parents - perhaps over the recent summer holidays or when your child started school? For example - are you allowed to work a different shift to cope with school pick up, or in the summer holidays, does your work place provide a crèche or support any days out via vouchers etc?

If your employer is not actively supportive, what could they do to make your working life as a parent just that little bit easier for you or your partner? How do you manage childcare in the holidays?

And if you're not in employment at the moment: what could an employer do to make them appeal to you as a family friendly employer?

We're delighted to welcome our 2015 Mumsnet Family Friendly members: Barclays, Pizza Express, Butlins, More Th>n, McDonald's, Unilever, Old Mutual and Matalan.

Share your thoughts on this thread and you will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 voucher to spend in Matalan grin.

MNHQ Family Friendly Team

purplepandas Tue 22-Sep-15 12:38:57

Flexible starting hours. I work in academia and am just returning. I have asked for lectures/seminars to start after 10am to enable school drop off etc. Fingers crossed all goes smoothly. It has helped this year already in terms of knowing what childcare I need etc even though teaching has not started yet.

CopperPan Tue 22-Sep-15 13:41:29

I'm not working at the moment but I'm thinking about returning. I would need a sympathetic employer to be understanding and flexible about time off for sudden illness as it's something that is bound to come up and can't be planned for. I would also want flexibility to work from home on some days.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 22-Sep-15 20:12:29

I work in a school so it's difficult to get time off for appointments, ill children etc. but as I don't work in the holidays it balances out. That said, working in education is not as family friendly as one might assume.

godsavethequeeeen Tue 22-Sep-15 20:58:32

No support from employer apart from the statutory minimum. Think it's run by dinosaurs.

Had to argue my case for emergency unpaid dependents leave when one dc had to go to a&e. Flexible working refused because they didn't want other staff to have it.

Ideally I'd have flexi-time, the office could cope with everyone on flexi. Have to juggle unpaid parental leave, holiday club and my mum in school holidays.

It's a shame they're so stuck in the dark ages. They lose good staff, I only tolerate it because I work 3 days a week.

hunhun007 Tue 22-Sep-15 21:58:24

Flexible hours would be a great start.

skyeskyeskye Wed 23-Sep-15 17:26:20

Now self employed, but when I was employed, my employer let me work 16 hours a week, but only paid for 12, so that I built up flexi hours. I then used them when DD was sick, or the childminder was on holiday. It worked perfectly for both me and him and felt very flexible and helpful on both sides.

CMOTDibbler Wed 23-Sep-15 17:36:01

My employer (at least its UK entity) has slightly flexible hours - you can start between 8 and 10, and finish between 4 and 6. On Fridays you can finish at 12 as long as you've done your hours. For such a small flex, it is amazingly helpful.

LookAtAllThesePhucksIGive Thu 24-Sep-15 01:20:11

My employers don't mind if I bring my kids to work with me. Been let down by people at the last minute and they've never minded them just sitting there drawing or watching their screens. I know not all employers can do that but it is a huge help.

HannahLI Thu 24-Sep-15 11:51:18

I work as a youth worker for a local church and so my working times change greatly between weeks however my employer as really flexible on me altering my hours around what needs to happen with the children and where appropriate I have also brought them along with me on several occasions too. It just makes it so much easier to know that they don't mind when a child is sick or something happens that I have the flexibility to make it work and they are behind me.

ILikeBigBumpsAndICannotLie Fri 25-Sep-15 17:08:05

I do IT work and was contacted on maternity to do some consultancy and they were happy for me to nip out of the room on a skype call to bring the baby in for a feed. Were more than happy for me to work when she napped and at odd hours to dial in. It was a lifesaver.

MakeTeaNotWar Sat 26-Sep-15 10:06:10

My employer is just great - though I have to say flexibility does vary across departments but I'm lucky to have a particularly supportive manager. I take a short lunch break in order to be able to leave at 4.30. I also work one day a week from home. It's never been an issue to take time to attend assembly, doctor's appointment etc. On the flip side, I am equally flexible back and will always make up any time lost - the employer has my utter loyalty so it's a win-win situation.

BerniceB Sat 26-Sep-15 10:19:36

Definitely flexibility. And it doesn't just apply to parents either so there isn't any resentment from non parents. Ideally you should be in the office during core hours (or working from home during that time), but as long as you work your contracted hours they're not that fussed. It just takes a little pressure off knowing you can manage any short term changes in childcare, or attend appointments, without massive juggling and having to take a day's leave.

It's hugely appreciated by staff.

Obviously this won't work in all environments (such as retail), but a little flexibility over shifts is always appreciated. Been there, done that - a 10 shift in a row rota doesn't benefit anyone.

CheeseEMouse Sat 26-Sep-15 13:48:26

I get a laptop and blackberry which means I can be flexible and catch up in the evening. The best thing though is being able to do a 9 day fortnight which meant I had a great day every other week looking after my daughter.

CheeseAtFourpence Sat 26-Sep-15 14:14:06

Flexible hours in addition to me being part time. Our company allows us to change our hours in school holidays - so either reduce hours or work a different pattern. We can build up flexi to cover things like school play, sports day etc.

Also the ability to work from home if children are ill.

BlackCatSleeps Sun 27-Sep-15 19:59:08

I am very fortune because as a part time employee, I can move my hours around to a 'non working' day if I need to look after sick children or attend school events. It is also possible for me to work at home and sometimes in the evenings.

Princessxo Tue 29-Sep-15 21:02:00

I get very flexible hours and I'm able to do part time work too. The hours change week to week so I don't always have to do the same hours. Everything is very casual.

Maiyakat Tue 29-Sep-15 22:03:12

In an ideal world, I would love a job where I could complete my hours at any point in the week, with some working from home. Unfortunately this is not at all possible in my NHS job! The one thing that has been very detrimental to family friendly working is forcing people to work 12 hour shifts.

CesareBorgiasUnicornMask Tue 29-Sep-15 22:45:13

My DP is in the police which is notoriously un-family-friendly, but actually because he is blessed with an understanding sergeant he's been really well supported. They've let him rearrange his shifts to take on more childcare so I can go back to university full time, and also let him get in late so he can do a nursery drop-off on some days, with him making the time up out of his break. It's still hard with shift work but having an understanding boss who is committed to getting the best for and from the people she manages has been a godsend.

CordeliaScott Wed 30-Sep-15 21:16:24

My workplace is relatively flexible with timing recognising that it's not always easy to be out on time with a one year old and morning sickness. Equally when I have had childcare problems they have been fine with me having time off at short notice or working from home and they will drive the files to my house (I only live ten minutes away).

They have also given me remote access so that I can be home for dd's bedtime and then work in the evening rather than staying late in the office.

ahbollocks Wed 30-Sep-15 21:29:35

We get 7 parent days to use per year, these are for unforeseen emergencies with childcare or illness and are full pay smile
Also paid leave to attend hospital and dental appointments for children, which with a lactose intolerant, accident prone toddler is wonderful.
We all do go above and beyond in work and it is so nice to have that rewarded

voyager50 Fri 02-Oct-15 13:59:48

My partner's workplace allows fathers to change their shift if they want to in order to do an afternoon and evening shift instead of the normal split shift (morning & evening) so that they can see their children in the mornings.

InAndOfMyself Fri 02-Oct-15 20:30:39

They provide 5 days emergency childcare which is very helpful. Unfortunately it is through a company owned by a misogynist which makes me not want to use it. I wish my company had vetted their vendor a little better.

DrSausagedog Sat 03-Oct-15 08:21:29

I work in a school so the holidays are obviously a huge bonus. However, being able to see my child's sports day, plays etc is very much at the discretion of my headteacher. Some heads have been more understanding and flexible than others.

The ones who have been understanding and let me be released for half an hour to watch my little girl's events have found me to be a lot more willing to help out with unpaid open evenings, discos etc. Flexibility is very much a two way street.

Eva50 Sat 03-Oct-15 21:32:01

I was able to get part time hours to fit with the dc but it has been very difficult getting time off in the school holidays.

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