Creating a family friendly culture will help grow your business

New research published today shows that some parents – and prospective parents – feel they are overlooked when it comes to job opportunities and job promotion. Firms have reinforced this as ‘one in four employers consider if a woman has young children or is pregnant in promotion decisions’.

Today also marked the publication of NISRA’s Women in Northern Ireland 2017 Report which highlights that, in Northern Ireland in 2017, there were fewer ‘economically active’ women than men and more ‘economically inactive’ women. The most common reason for inactivity was family and home commitments[1].

Unsurprisingly, these findings support what parents have told us. Nearly half of respondents in our Striking the Balance research report agreed that it is more difficult to progress or develop a career after having children and a staggering 91 per cent of respondents commented on the difficulty of achieving a suitable work-life balance.

For many, the coveted balance between achieving in work and having a happy family life remains hard to obtain.  Can employers play their part? Of course!  Research has shown the benefits of creating a successful family friendly workplace culture.  It drives productivity, reduces absenteeism, attracts new staff and helps retain current staff[2].

Employers For Childcare works with employers to support and guide them in creating a family friendly culture and implementing family friendly working policies.  Parents have told us it is not just how many policies an employer has in place that creates a healthier work-life balance, it is also about having an understanding and approachable employer.

Our Family Friendly Employer Guide  sets out how employers can create a family friendly culture based on the key areas of:  increased flexibility, more understanding, equal opportunities, better information, and childcare support.

Employers For Childcare also recognises employers who go above and beyond the legal requirements to implement family friendly working policies for their employees through our annual Family Friendly Employer Awards.  We will be sharing learning from the 2017 Award winners at our annual Workshop in the New Year.

If you are an employer and would like more information on family friendly working policies or our Family Friendly Employer Workshop or 2018 Awards, please call 028 9267 8200 or contact


[1] NISRA Women in Northern Ireland 2017

[2] Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2014) Costs and Benefits to Business of Adopting Work Life Balance Working Practices: A Literature Review, available at