launches COVID-19 Awards’s annual Awards will be different this year – we will instead focus on the great work some employers have been doing in response to the enormous pressures imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Women clapping at busy awards ceremony - Top Employer Awards 2019 at the Soho Hotel is rejigging its Top Employer Awards this year to focus on the amazing work done by employers in response to COVID-19 and to look at what the future implications might be for the UK workforce.

The annual Awards this year will take place online in January and will celebrate best practice in a range of areas. There are five Award categories:

Best for Mental Well Being
Best for D&I
Best for Flexible Working
Best for Line Manager Support
Best for Family Support
Employee Engagement Award

The categories stipulate what kind of initiatives and approaches the judges are seeking, for instance, for mental well being, employers are asked to demonstrate initiatives aimed at protecting their employees mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. This could include initiatives that ensured furlough staff do not become disconnected; that home working staff are not isolated; that employees are signposted to mental health resources, for instance, if they are suffering bereavement, and that line managers are trained to look out for signs of mental health problems and provide support.

An Overall Top Employer will be chosen from the winners of all the other categories. The online Awards ceremony in January will feature a keynote speaker, a Q & A with the judges on issues related to the future of work and break-out discussions on some of the best practice areas highlighted by the Awards.

The judges for the Awards are Gillian Nissim, founder of, and; Andy Lake, Director of; Claire Kelliher, Professor of Work & Organisation at Cranfield University; Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Coaching, Consultancy & Thought Leadership at Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions; and David Dunbar, Head of Digital Workspace at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Gillian Nissim stated: “Due to the overwhelming impact of COVID-19 on the way we are working, we have decided this year to focus our Awards on the often extraordinary efforts made by organisations to adapt to the crisis. We are keen to celebrate the amazing work done by people managers, often the unsung heroes in this pandemic. We know that most have gone the extra mile to put people at the centre of their organisations’ response to all the huge number of issues thrown up by the coronavirus and we look forward to sharing and recognising those efforts.”

*To apply for the annual Awards, go to The deadline for entries is 27th November 2020.

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