Family Friendly Employer Awards 2017

The Family Friendly Employer Awards were judged across four different categories. The winners and highly commended of each category are listed below.

Public Sector and 2017 Overall Winner

Belfast City Council impressed the judging panel with their family friendly approach and strategy going forward despite facing financial pressures and organisational change. Not only did the scope and realm of current family friendly approaches impress the judges, they were also inspired by the range of future initiatives—along with Belfast City Council’s recognition that their staff are their most valuable asset. Methods and efforts of communicating initiatives to a varied range of staff were also commended. The judges unanimously agreed that this organisation is a very worthy winner.

Public Sector - Highly Commended

The Belfast Trust was a very close contender to winning this category. Highlights from the application included the use of technology to improve staff morale—and a lot of new initiatives having been introduced this year—including a childcare survey, advice clinics, and fairs. The judges agreed that a family friendly approach is clearly embedded within the organisation.

Public Sector - Highly Commended

Queen’s University Belfast demonstrated health and wellbeing as part of their corporate plan. The judges were impressed with their top-down leadership focus on looking after staff.


SME / Micro Business Winner

Progressive Building Society demonstrated in their introduction that they have a caring approach to staff, and proved their commitment to continually improve what they are doing—evident most clearly with them having progressed from ‘Highly Commended’ at last year’s awards.

They displayed an impressive range of creative and innovative family friendly practices, including yoga and mindfulness, and the judges agreed that statistics from staff surveys showed strong evidence of success. Throughout the application it was inherent that this organisation is family friendly to the core.

SME / Micro Business - Highly Commended

Adventures Day Nursery showed that you don’t have to have lots of resources—in either staff, or budget—to introduce family friendly initiatives. The judges were extremely impressed that—despite being a small organisation—they make a huge effort to support their staff, as well as putting future plans in place to enhance friendly initiatives.

Unfortunately due to the small nature of their organisation, and some staff being off on sick leave, Adventures Day Nursery were unable to attend the Awards Ceremony. However, Maria and Joanne collected their Award from Marie Marin, Chief Executive of Employers For Childcare, at a later date.

SME / Micro Business - Highly Commended

Legal-Island demonstrated a multigenerational approach to being family friendly—they have managers trained to take a coaching style—and have cleverly branded some of their initiatives which is useful for employees.


Large Private Sector - Winner

The judges agreed that Lagan Construction Group was the clear winner in this category. They received a highly commended in 2016—showing their eagerness to improve their family friendly approach. The feedback and measurement of employee engagement and satisfaction with the family friendly initiatives was particularly impressive.

Large Private Sector - Highly Commended

Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland highlighted positive feedback from staff—who particularly appreciate their range of family fun days.

Large Private Sector - Highly Commended

The Keystone Group encourages a family atmosphere—and recognises that this makes for a successful business and a happy home life.

Charity / Social Enterprise - Winner

The judges agreed that MACS NI has a family friendly approach right down to the core of their organisation—and were impressed with the innovative range of initiatives—such as sunny days time out and even paid time off to attend fertility treatment.

This is the third consecutive year this organisation has been crowned Winner of the Charity/Social Enterprise category. Despite being the winner three years in a row—the judges agreed that their application was completely different to previous years—again showing their commitment to continually improve what they are doing.

Charity / Social Enterprise - Highly Commended

Northern Ireland Hospice impressed the judges with the way they inform staff as to what initiatives are available to them—and a strong emphasis that their service depends on their staff.

Charity / Social Enterprise - Highly Commended

2017 marks the first year that Clanrye Group have applied for the Family Friendly Employer Awards. The judges were impressed with the dates attached to initiatives—which showed progression in their family friendly approach—and a continued effort to improve—as well as 100% satisfaction in their staff survey.