Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield named Top 30 employer for working families for fifth year in a row

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) has been recognised as one of the UK’s top 30 employers for working families by work-life balance charity Working Families. This is the fifth year in a row that the company has been recognised by the awards.

The awards, which are now in their twelfth year, assess companies using the Working Families’ Benchmark to build a comprehensive picture of their flexible and family-friendly policies.

URW is focused on ensuring that all employees reach their full potential and are committed to building a culture that promotes diversity and inclusion, wellbeing, CSR and values difference and work-life balance, whilst working flexibly to support the needs of all employees, particularly those with children or those acting as carers for other family members. The initiatives and programmes being delivered ensure this development culture is honoured and achieved.

During the last 18 months, URW has placed a real focus on employee and employee family wellbeing, centred around a meaningful and impactful programme which included a range of support, content and additional benefits. Initiatives included a new dedicated ‘well-being hub’ on their employee benefits portal and access to trained Mental Health First Aiders (10% of URW employees have completed this training), an Employee Assistance Programme helpline, new ways of working guidelines and the introduction of two extra paid days’ of leave, known as ‘well-being days,’ in addition to employee’s existing annual leave entitlement.

Regular wellbeing newsletters and workshops also increased awareness around mental health issues, particularly supporting those from working families – helping to reduce stigma around talking about issues with mental health and tackling issues such as sleep, nutrition, home-working and stress management.

Una O’Reilly, Group Director of Employee Engagement and Director of Human Resources UK/Italy at URW said: “We are extremely proud of the people focussed policies, practices and initiatives we’ve put in place to create a supportive culture for all our employees. The pandemic has placed a huge physical and mental toll on many of our employees and their families, and we knew that we needed to double down on our commitments to supporting their wellbeing.

We’re delighted that this approach has been recognised by Working Families and are now looking forward to seeing how we can continue to support our employees and their families as they transition to a new hybrid way of working.”

Jane van Zyl, CEO of Working Families, said: “After an incredibly difficult year for employers and employees alike, we’ve been blown away by the high standard of this year’s entries. If anything, it’s been more competitive than ever, as more and more employers realise just how vital it is to offer flexible, family friendly policies and a positive, inclusive culture to attract the most diverse talent. I’d like to congratulate each and every worthy member of our Top Employers list 2021.”

The focus on wellbeing over the past 18 months complements the wider programme of employee support at URW.  The Be You network which launched in 2020 and focuses on four key pillars: Leadership and Engagement, Inclusion Policies and Procedures, Employee Development and Learning and Culture and Employee Engagement. This network is the key driver for internal employee events to involve, educate and empower URW employees on topics around International Women’s Day, ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ and International Men’s Day. Other initiatives and benefits introduced by URW include Shared Parental Leave as well as maternity / paternity pay that is significantly above statutory requirements. URW also offers a family buddy scheme, a new parent coaching workshop as well as carers, surrogacy, menopause and baby loss policies to provide further support to employees.

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