Forward Carers has been named as a finalist in the Mental Health and Wellbeing and the Carers and Eldercare categories of the Working Families Best Practice Awards. The awards celebrate employers whose stand-out cultures and working practices are leading the way in flexible and employee-friendly workplaces.  

Now in their fifteenth year, Working Families’ Best Practice Awards showcase and celebrate employers who are offering flexibility for all their people and going above and beyond in their support for parents and carers.  

Forward Carers’ social mission is to create Carer Friendly Communities, places where unpaid Carers thrive in all areas of life and work, and we lead by example in our workplace. As a Carer Friendly Employer, we recognise that team members thrive when they are empowered to balance their lives and any unpaid caring responsibilities with their work responsibilities.

We’ve been on a journey over the last 18 months, trialling ways to improve the wellbeing of all staff – from wellbeing hours to team days, in-house Carer and Mental Health Champions, to wellbeing focused 1:1s and more. We’ve built flexibility into our workplace from day one to empower staff who are also unpaid Carers to continue supporting the people they provide care for and achieve their work and professional goals. After piloting a Four Day Week in 2023, we found that staff wellbeing increased across all measures while our organisational performance rose. We are now a four-day week employer where all full-time staff have a day off each week to tend to their lives.

Anna Smith, Executive Manager, Forward Carers

“We are absolutely thrilled that our workplace support for staff has been recognised in these prestigious awards. As a Carer Friendly Employer, we know that Carers and ex-Carers bring with them a huge range of skills developed through their caring roles. By offering Carer and family friendly practices and recognising the value of supporting employee wellbeing, we’ve flourished as an organisation, achieving more than ever. We’re proud to be in the company of the other finalists and to demonstrate what can be achieved with a happy, healthy, supported workforce.”

Jane van Zyl, Chief Executive of Working Families said: 

“What a fantastic year for the Working Families Best Practice Awards – a huge congratulations to our finalists, each and every one has truly earned their spot. Once again, we have been able to select from outstanding organisations who are showing the world what is possible when employers are willing to go against the grain and lead by example. Their drive to create a more equitable, inclusive society that works for everyone is clear.

“Flexible and family-friendly working still has some way to go before we can say that we all get a fair deal. These finalists are beacons of possibility and demonstrate that a determination to find flexible solutions and a belief in putting people at the heart of organisations brings benefits for businesses, for employees and for families.”

Employers from a diverse range of sectors from across the UK have competed to catch the judges’ attention in nine categories that can be seen on the Working Families website.

The winners will be announced at an awards event at Apothecaries’ Hall on 26 June 2024.