The logo for the Working Families Best Practice Awards 2021, which highlights that we are finalists.

The finalists for the annual Best Practice Awards have been announced today by work-life balance charity Working Families 

Swansea University has been named a finalist in the Best for Carers & Eldercare category of the Working Families Best Practice Awards. Employers of all sizes from different sectors compete annually to reach the shortlist for the unique business awards for flexible, agile organisations. 

Now in their twelfth year, the Working Families Best Practice Awards showcase and celebrate employers who offer flexibility for all their people and go above and beyond to support parents and carers. 

Swansea University has been shortlisted for the Best for Carers & Eldercare category due to their Athena Swan activities that have put in place policies and several initiatives to support staff and student carers, helping them to balance work/study and caring responsibilities.

Key initiatives include developing and implementing a carer’s passport, enabling staff to have compassionate conversations with line managers to identify their needs and agree on an action plan to support their work and caring responsibilities.

The University is also a member of Employers for Carers and has invested in the Carers UK Digital Resource, which provides information for carers, online training and free access to an app that enables staff to coordinate the care of their dependents.

Furthermore, there is a staff carers’ network that meets online, and prior to the pandemic, met in person. It provides peer support, practical tips and invites speakers such as Swansea Carers Centre representatives.

The University also recognises that it is not just staff in need of support and provides funding of £1000 pa to student carers and monthly support meetings with student welfare staff.

Professor Joy Merrell, Professor Emeritus (Human & Health Sciences) at Swansea University, said: “I am delighted that Swansea University has been shortlisted for a Working Families Best Practice Award for Carers and Eldercare.

“We recognise that most people will become carers at some point in their life, and being shortlisted for this award is national recognition of our commitment to supporting these valued members of our Swansea University community.”

Jane van Zyl, Chief Executive of Working Families and Chair of the judging panel, said: 

“Huge congratulations to our finalists, Swansea University. Making it through to this stage in such a competitive year demonstrates they are leaders in creating supportive, flexible working cultures. Swansea University’s outstanding entry in the Best for Carers & Eldercare category caught the attention of the judging panel and stood out amongst a record number of entries.

“This last year has been exceptionally challenging for everyone, and particularly for many working parents who’ve had to find ways to balance work with caring for children. We know that where employers have adopted flexible working practices, that balancing act has been made far less stressful for individuals and allowed employees to be as productive as possible in their role.

“As we move out of the pandemic into the ‘new normal’, we are determined to use what we’ve learned to benefit more of the UK’s 13 million working parents. The outstanding organisations that have been shortlisted in this year’s Best Practice Awards are leading the way in showing that flexible, family-friendly working policies aren’t just the right thing to do: they make great business sense. When employees have more control over their time, we see improved engagement and retention, as well as better organisational performance.”

Winners will be announced on 27 May 2021.

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