’s Top Employer Awards’ shortlist announced

Twenty two of the most progressive employers have been shortlisted for this year’s Top Employer Awards.

The employers have been shortlisted across eight categories ranging from SMEs to Family Support and Best for Dads. The Awards, sponsored by KFC, will be announced at a ceremony at London’s Soho Hotel on 8th November which will involve networking sessions, a keynote address by Lynne Berry OBE and a Q & A with a panel of experts.

The ceremony is the third annual Top Employer Awards which celebrate companies who are leading the field in developing innovative ways of working suited to 21st century demands.

The Awards recognise employers of all kinds who are progressive in their flexible working practices and proactive in seeking to retain talented staff, particularly working parents who want to combine successful careers with being a parent.

The shortlisted companies are:

Innovation in Flexible Working Award –  for employers who demonstrate specific policies and practices related to flexible working which are truly innovative and break new ground, whether that be in a particular industry or in general.

Shortlisted: Martin Carty Gardening; Clink Limited; Sodexo Motivation Solutions; The Royal Bank of Scotland; Informa Plc; Loop Customer Management; John Lewis Partnership; Unilever

Employee Engagement Award, sponsored by Prudential –  for employers who demonstrate a commitment to and strategy for enabling employees at all levels to feed back their views on policies relevant to working parents, such as flexible working, and a willingness to take these concerns on board.

Shortlisted: Royal Mail Group; CEVA Logistics; The Royal Bank of Scotland; Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs; HSBC

SME Award for companies with under 25 employees, sponsored by RBS Group –  for small companies who demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices which specifically help working parents, such as flexible working, support on return to work from maternity leave and career development for women and show how these are of benefit to the organisation.

Shortlisted: Martin Carty Gardening; Clink Limited; Darlings of Chelsea; HR180 Ltd; HR Dept (Bristol) Ltd; Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs

SME Award for companies with between 26 and 250 employees, sponsored by RBS Group –  for larger SMEs who demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices.

Shortlisted: Cool2Care CIC; Traidcraft

Best for Dads Award –  for organisations showing specific policies targeting dads, such as inclusive parenting networks, publications and outreach targeted around dads’ rights, shared parenting initiatives and innovative policies on parental and paternity leave

Shortlisted: The London School of Economics and Political Science; Accenture

Talent Attraction Award – for organisations which can demonstrate that their recruitment process openly promotes flexible working.

Shortlisted: The Royal Bank of Scotland; CA Technologies

Family Support Award, sponsored by HSBC – for organisations who demonstrate policies and practices which aim to make it easier to balance work and family life.

Shortlisted: John Lewis Partnership; The Royal Bank of Scotland; IG Group Holdings plc; Loop Customer Management; Barclays Bank PLC; Cool2Care CIC

Working Mums Champion Award, sponsored by CA Technologies – for stand-out individuals whose efforts have made a big difference to working mums in their workplace.

Martin Carty at Martin Carty Gardening; James Phipson at Clink Limited; Cheryl MacDonald at YogaBellies; John Darling of Darlings of Chelsea; Claire Morley-Jones at HR180 Ltd; Natalie Bickford of Sodexo; Amanda Sourry of Unilever; Michelle Fullerton at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

An Overall Top Employer Award will be selected from all those who have been shortlisted based on all of the categories combined.

Gillian Nissim, Founder of, says: “The standard of entries this year was exceptionally high. It is fantastic to see the kind of innovative work being done by companies, particularly in such difficult economic times. These employers realise that for their long-term success they need to both recruit and retain talented female staff.”

The Awards will be judged by an expert panel made up of Gillian Nissim, founder of, Andy Lake, editor of, Jennifer Liston-Smith, head of coaching development at My Family Care, Dave Dunbar, head of BT Flexible Working Services and Professor Clare Kelliher of Cranfield School of Management.

The judges will take part in the Q & A Panel, which is sponsored by Carlisle Managed Solutions. The networking session sponsors are Unilever and Co-operative Employee Benefits. Media partners for the event are Anywhere Working and the FIRM.

*Picture: John Lewis receives its Overall Top Employer Award for 2011.

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