Engineering consultancy Atkins promotes itself as a family-friendly employer, not only for female staff but also for male employees because of its benefits offering and flexible working arrangements.
Benefits offered by Atkins that are popular among working families include flexible working, extra holiday entitlement, childcare vouchers and informal employee assistance programmes, such as networks for working families to interact with each another. The organisation won Workingmums.co.uk’s Innovation in Flexible Working Award in December 2013, and was named top employer overall for initiatives that support flexible working and women’s career progression.
Victoria Jones, recruitment manager at Atkins, says: “To help retain and attract more female employees to the organisation, flexible working can be facilitated from day one of a new starter’s employment. We want to attract talented people and if they can only work three or four days a week, we will facilitate that, where possible.”
Another popular family-friendly benefit at Atkins is allowing staff to buy up to 15 days’ more holiday. Jones says: “The ability to buy up to 15 days certainly makes a difference for working parents, as do childcare vouchers.”
One-third of Atkins employees take advantage the holiday-buying benefit.
Sue Cooper, HR director, says: “All the benefits we offer are beneficial to the family. They show we have an open approach to working parents and encourage that work-life balance feel.
“We want to make it feel normal to buy extra leave. There is certainly a big sense of being family-friendly at Atkins. We are working hard to support families and to help employees feel comfortable in a big organisation. The benefits offered help to develop them and their families.”