By Lauren Crooks
West Dunbartonshire Council has been named one of Scotland’s most flexible employers thanks to a range of initiatives designed to improve employees’ work-life balance.
The award from charity Flexibility Works saw the Council named in the Top 10 out of hundreds of entrants from all over the country.
Judges were impressed with the high volume of the Council’s workforce already working flexibly throughout the organisation, and also praised the fact that all employees have a right to flexible working from their first day of employment.
They also highlighted the approach of flexibility for every employee, and the focus on different workers including carers and new mums.
Judges also chose West Dunbartonshire in their top 10 due to the approach of using pilots to try out new flexible working initiatives, resulting in long term buy in.
Employees have a number of opportunities to work in a way that suits them to support their work-life balance.
Options include working part-time, job share, shift working, home working, flexible hours, staggered hours, compressed hours and career breaks.
Since 2017, all employees have been able to apply for flexible working twice a year – a benefit which was previously only open to employees with 26 weeks of service.
The council also offers carers returning to work following a period of unemployment or a break to have a family, a guaranteed interview to help them get back to work.
All vacant positions are advertised as suitable for flexible working and candidates are encouraged to indicate their preferred flexible working pattern on their application form.
The award, which was announced at an online ceremony hosted by Flexibility Works on Thursday 25 March, is the second accolade the Council has received for its flexible and family-friendly policies.
In 2017, the Council was named the best public sector employer in the UK for its flexible, family-friendly policies.
Victoria Rogers, above left, Chief Officer for People and Technology, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be named among the best flexible employers in Scotland and are pleased that we have received recognition for the hard work we have undertaken to ensure our employees are supported to carry out their duties with a workstyle that suits their personal circumstances.
“Over the past 12 months, flexible working has become more relevant and necessary, and the fact that our organisation was already in a position to adapt to home-working and offer even more flexibility has been a key part of ensuring a smooth adaptation of services during the challenges of the pandemic.
“We are committed to offering flexible working for all employees from day one and believe that by doing so, we are able to attract the best candidates to our vacancies, benefitting the whole area.”