Peter Ellwood


Lloyds TSB Group plc
Chairman, Employers for Work-Life Balance
Group Chief Executive, Lloyds TSB Group plc.

Working life at the start of this century is undergoing major change. Individuals are frequently having to juggle a range of responsibilities. Demand for goods and services around the clock is increasing and the traditional nine to five day no longer necessarily meets the needs of the individual or today’s society.

These changes have profound implications for employers both in terms of service delivery and recruiting and retaining high quality employees. Everyone has a life outside work, whether it be caring for children or elderly parents, studying or playing sport. Increasingly as employers, we need to be able to help our employees balance their work with the rest of their lives, if we are to become employers of choice.

Over the past few months, I have been meeting with the business leaders of over 20 pioneering organisations, all of whom have been looking at these issues. They include small and mediums sized businesses as well as large blue-chip organisations. Between us, we employ around half a million people.

The one thing we have in common is that we all believe that our organisations have benefited from the introduction of work-life policies and that the principles of such policies are key to our success in the future. By putting work-life balance at the heart of our corporate culture, we have, for instance, been able to improve morale and reduce absenteeism and employee turnover.

Other employers may also find that looking at these policies can help their organisations but it can be difficult to know where to go for information and advice. We have therefore established “Employers for Work-Life Balance”. This employer alliance aims to share the experiences we have had and to provide a one-stop shop for employers interested in finding out more about this issue.

We are delighted that the Government has also announced a range of activities to support work-life balance and we look forward to working with them to achieve our joint objectives. We will also be working closely with those organisations that have been championing this issue for some time.

The alliance organisations do not have all the answers. We are at the beginning of this process ourselves, but we hope that what we have learnt may be of value to those employers looking at this issue for the first time.