And TC Group’s specialist HR service can guide businesses towards a more family friendly future.
The workplace is changing and more and more businesses are having to adopt flexible and family friendly policies in order to remain efficient and retain quality staff.
And with a raft of family related legislation scheduled to come on stream by 2020 the need for businesses to adopt such policies is greater than ever.
Accountancy and professional services firm TC Group is championing a new approach towards working practices based upon what it sees as pragmatic solutions for 21st century business. And at the heart of this is a commitment to flexible policies that place family considerations centre stage.
Exemplifying this is its own Head of HR & Recruitment, Wendy McGarvey, who as a working mother of two teenage children is a keen advocate of part-time workers and the need for all businesses to be more open minded about working practices. In her view, flexible working is the key to how businesses should be shaping their policies in the future, with the onus on being family friendly.
Explains Wendy: ‘There is a growing legislative and even cultural awareness of the need for businesses to be more sensitive towards the needs of families and to be more accommodating and understanding.
‘For example, it looks very likely that companies with more than 250 employees will have to publish and make freely available their family friendly policies, which will include a duty to consider whether certain roles can be carried out flexibly and whether they should be advertised as such, while other legislation touches upon issues such as bereavement related leave.
‘There is no doubt now that the overall thrust of current and forthcoming legislation is placing the onus on employers to demonstrate that they are family friendly, and this is a good thing.’
In her view it is much more about changing attitudes and helping businesses to understand that by being accommodating and family friendly you can actually reap rewards and create a happier and more productive workplace.
‘It is a good thing to publish family friendly policies and generally to adopt an open and frank attitude towards employees and potential employees. For example, publishing one’s policies provides applicants with a good idea of what they are going into and of what to expect. This can have positive repercussions on both sides.
‘But it is not just about keeping up with legislation, it’s about genuinely adopting such attitudes and believing in them, from the top down. So, for example, constantly challenging one’s office managers over why certain jobs can’t be done in a flexible way when they can be.’
She feels that because so many women are employed in the HR profession it is inherently more understanding of family issues and so is well placed not only to provide professional advice but to empathise. The future, she feels, will be with those businesses that can effectively empathise with and genuinely understand the needs of families.
Adds Wendy: ‘I have been working part-time for 15 years in very senior roles. At TC I am a member of the senior management team and am Head of HR and Recruitment for the UK’s fastest growing Top 60 accountancy firm, so am a good example of how this can work in practice.
‘Not only that, but two members of my team are also part-time, so we are well aware of how this can work in practice and practice what we preach.’
For further information about forthcoming legislative changes and family friendly policies and flexible working practices, please contact Wendy McGarvey on: 03300 887111.