Mumsnet founder

Mumsnet CEO and Co-founder Justine Roberts, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and Mumsnet Co-founder Carrie Longton (from left to right) (Pic: Justin Sutcliffe)

The winners of the 2014 Mumsnet Family Friendly Innovation Awards have been announced at a ceremony, hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP. BarclaysBella Italia and Butlins have each received a Mumsnet Innovation Award to recognise their commitment to family-friendly policies, voted for by Mumsnet users as part of the Mumsnet Family Friendly programme.

The Innovation Awards celebrate Family Friendly programme members who have shown originality and leadership in the policies they have developed over the course of the year.
  • Barclays are launching a ‘Stay in Touch’ app, which allows employees to keep in touch with their managers during maternity and paternity leave. The app features a pay calculator to work out how much employees will receive on their return to work, and links to their HR portal.
  • Bella Italia talked to parents and children about what’s important when eating out, and used the feedback to develop their ‘tried and tested’ family-focused dining.  Innovations include ‘first food fast’ free breadsticks on arrival, free re-fillable cordials and adult dishes available in child-sized portions. This new dining experience is now being trialled in many of their restaurants.
  • Butlins have launched ‘Just for Tots’, a short break designed around keeping the under-5s happy.  The four-day break keeps families’ needs at heart and includes child-friendly accommodation, opening and closing times that take early starts and bedtime into consideration, and child-friendly food and entertainment.
Mumsnet’s Family Friendly programme works with businesses to improve family-friendly policies, both for employees and for customers. Since the programme started in 2011, over 1.7 million employees have been involved. Through the use of ‘secret shoppers’, staff audits and policy analysis conducted by Parent Zone we track member companies to ensure they are living up to public commitments and continuing to develop family-friendly practices.
One winner, Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), collected a gold award for consistently meeting family friendly criteria for both for their employees.  It’s innovative work in developing family friendly practices, included a “Back to Business” programme for mums returning to work and workshops and coaching for all employees covering various topics from effective parenting and maternity leave to mindfulness and work/life balance, along with practices and practical approaches to ensure their policies are having an impact and reaching staff at all levels.

Liz Nottingham, Regional HR Director, Western Europe at Starcom said:

“We’re thrilled to receive Gold for the third time. This is further demonstration our leading edge approach to nurturing and developing our talent. Parents are an integral part of our workforce and like all of our people, have distinct needs and requirements in today’s modern workplace.”

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet CEO and Founder said:

“It’s great to see so many companies putting family friendliness at the heart of their businesses and realising that there are positive business benefits from considering the needs of families, whether they’re customers or employees.”

Find out more about the Mumsnet awards here:

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