In the lead up to Carers Rights Day on Friday 24 November, Heart of the City was keen to find out what businesses can do to support employees who having caring responsibilities. Here, Deloitte tell us about their award winning programmes.
Equality of opportunity is vital to Deloitte’s success, and is seen by its leaders as the foundation of a fair and inclusive society. The firm is working to create a culture that allows all of its employees to thrive at work – whether they are single without dependents, or they are someone with caring responsibilities.
Through its focus on agile working, the firm works hard to enable its people to balance a successful career with their commitments outside of work.
Emma Codd (pictured), Managing Partner for Talent at Deloitte UK explains “we have worked really hard to ensure that all our people are able to balance their lives with a successful and fulfilling career, that they are trusted to choose what works best for both them and their team, and that they are judged solely on output”.
Part of this agile working approach is the firm’s award-winning Time Out programme, which offers employees four weeks of unpaid leave each year – to be taken at a time that suits the employee and the business; since the scheme began in 2014, close to 700 people have either taken a Time Out or are in the process of applying for one.
Through a partnership with My Family Care, Deloitte provides its employees with access to emergency childcare with two hours’ notice and backup adult and eldercare for an adult dependent, or even themselves. The partnership also offers access to a helpline of experts Monday to Friday 7am-7pm and regular webinars providing practical advice. Where further support is needed, Deloitte has a 24-hour employee advice helpline that provides free and impartial advice on any topic, and a network of trained mental health champions. This focus on mental health has led to Deloitte being awarded Silver in Mind’s inaugural Workplace Wellbeing Index – one of only five businesses who achieved this.
For peer-to-peer support, Deloitte’s Working Families Network connects parents, prospective parents and carers across the company in a way that enables them to share best practice, resources, ideas, information, and sometimes, to simply swap stories. The network currently has over 1,200 members.
To help those who have been out of the workforce for an extended period, in 2014 the firm launched an industry-first Return to Work programme. The 20-week programme offers a way back in to professional services for those with a background in the sector who have taken a career break of two years or more – whether it be due to parenthood, family care, or to pursue a different lifestyle – with the aim of ultimately transitioning to a permanent or contract role with the firm. All participants are employed on an 80% presence contract and are given half term off as paid leave.
Through its One Million Futures social impact programme, Deloitte also supports Carers Trust through fundraising, pro bono, and volunteering with a particular focus on their Working for Carers programme. Through this, Deloitte hopes to help other employers do more to support carers get back into employment in a way which recognises and supports their individual needs.
Deloitte was recently named in the Top 10 Employers for Working Families for the 7th consecutive year, its Return to Work programme received the inaugural Mumsnet Returnship Award, and its Time Out programme has received awards from The Sunday Times Best Big Companies Special Award for “Innovation in engagement practice” and Working Families – Best for Innovation.