Best Practice For Workplace Flexibility, Diversity And Inclusion

06/10/2017 10:32 BST | Updated 06/10/2017 10:32 BST

Working Families, supported by the Wainwright Trust, has made a wealth of best practice case studies available for the first time. The Wainwright case study library showcases effective - and often simple - examples of how HR teams can promote and embed flexible working - and therefore equality - in the workplace.

Taking flexible working as a search topic, I've identified these five simple steps are key to embedding flexibility at work, drawn from the best practice examples in the Library.

1. Actively promote options to work flexibly to your workforce

2. Encourage them to suggest innovative ways of working

3. Mobilise your managers to role model and promote flexible working

4. Embed flexible working in your recruitment process - job advertisements should be specific about the type of flexibility possible in the role. Supporting line managers around role design and flexible hiring is crucial

5. Monitor the performance of your flexible workers to ensure their work is fairly recognised.

The Library has been launched during National Work Life Week, which aims to get employees and employers exploring work life balance, something HR personnel can play a key role in.

Flexibility at work is crucial to working families trying to achieve the balance that works for them between work and family life. Our 2017 Modern Families Index, produced in partnership with Bright Horizons, showed that, for 50% of parents, their work life balance is increasingly a source of stress. Almost half (48%) said their working hours regularly got in the way of spending time with their children.

The Library has been set up in the name of equal pay and opportunities pioneer David Wainwright, thanks to a grant from The Wainwright Trust, set up 30 years ago following David's tragically early death in 1987. Since then it has raised money, commissioned and published research, funded and helped produce invaluable tools in the fight for equal pay and opportunities and held annual events to bring together and update people committed to and active in achieving equality at work.

The case studies encompass many of the aspects of workplace equality that David was concerned about - and we intend to update it on a regular basis as we continue our work with employers, seeking out and encouraging best practice in equality at work.

We're particularly interested in what makes work 'good' - two key components of which are enough money on which to raise a family and enough time and support for employees with family, community or other responsibilities outside work. Have you got a story for us? We're particularly interested in best practice examples around:

• time: the intensification of work; zero-hour contracts; flexible working haves and have-nots;

• well-being: tackling extreme jobs/long hours; the impact of work on happiness and on health;

• respect: in all areas of work, from inclusive recruitment through to rights for fathers;

• money: in-work poverty, the living wage and fair pay, work for older women; and

• society: the macro picture - childcare; corporate citizenship; having a good employment footprint and access to rights for all at work.

Employers, employees and policy-makers looking for innovative and inspiring solutions to workplace inequality should look no further that the Wainwright case study library.

Working Families works with employers interested in supporting employees through their various life stages, and leveraging flexible working to increase organisational performance. For more information about membership, and to share your story for our library, email