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It's not about one or two measures, but the whole way we look after our employees - the total package. It used to be exceptional for staff to return to work after maternity leave - now its more common for people at managerial and supervisory levels, and increasingly at shop floor levels, to return. The aim is to accommodate both individual and company needs.

Corporate profile

  • 22,639 employees
  • Manufacturing sector
  • 17 companies on 40+ sites
  • Established 1938
  • Company turnover 1.3 billion

Key work-life balance initiatives

  • Part-time working
  • Flexi-time
  • Job Sharing
  • Term-time working - in one company
  • Annual hours
  • Seasonal working
  • Paternity leave
  • One on-site nursery, a holiday playscheme and some partnership nursery places
  • FamilyLife Solutions information service at one company

Workforce profile

  • 41% female 59% male
  • approximately 60% of employees return to work from maternity leave

Staffing issues

Regional recruitment difficulties for some functions (IT, engineering and middle management).
Higher absence rates in school holidays.

Business benefits

The business benefits are not about quantity, but about quality. Food production is about making products today that are on the shelves tomorrow - so we need to be very flexible. Diverse, flexible working practices to suit local needs help staff to balance work and home - and us to deliver high quality products on time.

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