Top 10 Companies in the U.K. for Childcare and Working Parents

Juggling a full-time job as well as childcare can be incredibly hard, but thankfully, there are a number of companies focusing their efforts on supporting employees through this.

Yugi the Giraffe - 17 June 2020

Juggling a full-time job as well as childcare can be incredibly hard, but thankfully, there are a number of companies focusing their efforts on supporting employees through this.

Whilst many businesses will simply offer the standard maternity/paternity packages for parents, there are a number of companies that offer personalised benefits to help working Mums and Dads better manage their work-life balance, and further improve their wellbeing.

Below is our top 10 list of companies throughout the U.K. offering fantastic resources and benefits to help support employees as they balance their professional lives with parenthood:

1. Etsy

The popular eCommerce website Etsy offers a number of supportive parent-related resources for their employees, including the option to work from home, helping parents fit their work around their child-orientated schedules.

In addition to this, the company also offer “gender blind” parent leave. Through this benefit, all Etsy employees, regardless of gender, are entitled to 26 weeks of leave, fully paid, to be used in the first two years since their baby was born (or adopted).

In addition to this, Etsy also believes that being a parent shouldn’t have a detrimental impact on your career, stating in their 2017 news announcement that “Of those who have taken the new parental leave, 35% have been promoted since April, which means they were promoted either soon before, during or after taking leave. Of those who were promoted, 41% advanced to director level or above.”

2. Cisco

The tech giant Cisco has also introduced benefits to help support its working parents, their Bedfont Lake U.K. head office now offering an on-site nursery for children within the age ranges of 3 months to 5 years.

Employees that send their children to the nursery are reported to pay a “significantly reduced” cost for the childcare service, thanks to the company’s salary sacrifice scheme.

In addition to this, members of staff are also offered discounted back-up care, which can be spent on either the on-site nursery or any other nursery/childcare service outside of this. Employees are allotted up to 10 days of this back-up care a year.

3. Twitter

Since 2015, the social media giant Twitter has offered a maternity package of 20 weeks, fully paid, in a push to help keep women in more leadership roles, as well as promoting diversity within the company’s workforce.

In addition to this, parents can get discounted deals on a range of goods and services through the organisation Twitter Parents.

4. Next

The fashion and homeware retailer Next is another company that offers supportive childcare benefits to employees, including its on-site nursery “Next Steps Nursery” that currently holds an “Outstanding” Ofsted rating.

In addition to this, Next also offers childcare vouchers, enabling members of staff to save some of their salary to go towards the cost of nursery via their salary sacrifice scheme.

5. Vodafone

Self-professed to hold “one of the best maternity policies in the U.K.”, the British telecommunications company Vodafone has focused effort into supporting their employees throughout the life-altering experience of becoming a parent – offering 16 weeks of leave, fully paid, alongside a further six month period where parents can work part-time whilst still on their full-time salaries.

In addition to this, at the end of March next year (2021), the company’s parental leave will extend to “non-birthing parents”, regardless of gender or sexuality. CEO of Vodafone Nick Read has commented the following on the matter:

“Diversity and inclusion are core to our beliefs and purpose at Vodafone. We are proud to support all families by giving every parent the opportunity to have more time with their children, without worrying about the impact on their finances or careers.”

6. Netflix

The film and TV show streaming platform Netflix has also been reported to offer some of the best means of support out there for employees that have children, with both Mums and Dads able to take off as much time as they feel necessary during the first year of becoming parents, all whilst benefitting from their full, unchanged salary.

Netflix claim that their parental leave policy is “take care of your baby and yourself” with new parents typically taking 4 to 8 months off.

“At Netflix, we work hard to foster a ‘freedom and responsibility’ culture that gives our employees freedom to make their own decisions.”

Essentially, parents can choose their work pattern, and opt for one that accommodates to theirs and their children’s needs.

7. Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs, the bank and financial services company, has offered an on-site crèche since the early 2000s (2003 to be precise), being the only bank across London to offer this scheme. The crèche is available for children ages between 3 months to 11 years, primarily built as a back-up care option for when other childcare arrangements have fallen through.

Members of the Goldman Sachs U.K. team are offered 20 free days each year to use the crèche. Goldman Sachs states that “From compensation and benefits to wellness and on-site childcare, we aim to support your commitment to your job as well as your priorities and interests outside of work.”

8. Barclays

Barclays bank is another company offering superb benefits for its working parents, stating that:

“We are committed to ensuring that Barclays is an inclusive workplace, where everyone feels supported, valued and respected. As part of this commitment, we offer extensive support for families, parents and carers in line with local practices and requirements, to ensure that our colleagues are able to balance their professional and personal lives.”

The company has received some glowing reviews from employees around the topic, including mentions of their childcare vouchers, flexible and remote working options, as well as their maternity/paternity leave, all helping parents to better their work-life schedules.

9. UK Fast

UK Fast is another great employer that offers excellent benefits and resources for its parent employees, including 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, 2 weeks paternity leave, as well as an on-site crèche, filled with games, books and toys to keep the little ones entertained throughout the working day.

10. Toyota

Automotive manufacturer company Toyota offers excellent childcare benefits in its Derbyshire plant, with an on-site nursery charging competitive daily rates, all paid via a salary sacrifice scheme.

This nursery is available to all staff with children, up to a maximum age of five. The nursery also accommodates employees’ shift patterns, open during the same hours of a production day shift so workers can drop their children off before starting work.

What childcare is offered by companies?

Only a select number of companies offer childcare and sometimes this is much larger organisations - especially in the US.

Things that can be offered in terms of childcare include:

  • Childcare vouchers
  • Creche facilities
  • Nannies and babysitters
  • Daycare or nurseries on-site
  • Time off for staff without impacting annual leave

Should companies offer childcare support for their employees?

Yes, there is strong business care for offering childcare support to your staff. Simply because someone has children should not impact them from achieving organisation goals or affect their employability.

Certainly, when it comes to keeping good quality staff, these can be hard and expensive to replace - and having creche facilities or nannies can be a small expense relative to the potential benefits of keeping the employee happy and productive.

What other things can companies do to help parents and those looking for a work-life balance?

At a basic level, offering childcare vouchers is a very low-cost and effective way to assist parents - and these can be subsidised by the government to pay for things like food, clothes, activities and more.

Another thing that companies can do is allow days off for parents to tend to their children if they are sick, without compromising their annual leave.

Allowing parents to start work half an hour or an hour later and finish an hour earlier to take their kids and collect them from school is also very popular. Even, having a few days a week to work remotely so they can be with their children is very common in this day and age.

At YuLife, we are passionate about work-life balance and employee benefits that offer real rewards.

Our company life insurance product is designed to provide your employees with effective life cover that can safeguard their family's future. With additional benefits of mental health support or EAP for stressed-out parents, will writing and rewards for using the YuLife app and engaging in healthy activities.

Want to hear more about YuLife and its amazing life insurance for businesses? Request a callback here.

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