In 2021/22 DWF ran a pilot scheme to provide pre and post parental leave coaching for colleagues on maternity, adoption and shared parental leave regardless of gender. Based on the success of this pilot and the feedback from those that participated in the coaching, DWF has developed a Returning Parents Support Network.
The aim of this group is to provide colleagues who are or have recently become parents with assistance in juggling home life and work life.
DWF appreciates that navigating work with an expanding family can have its challenges, so this network has been created to provide colleagues with a safe space to connect with other parents and share advice, experiences and useful information.
Group members will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on and contribute to the development of support mechanisms for colleagues with parental responsibilities.
Paul Rimmer Legal Advisory CEO and Gender Network Exec Sponsor said: "At DWF we place a lot of emphasis on helping our people manage both their work and home life responsibilities. We are delighted to establish this forum for colleagues to support each other and so that feedback can be provided to inform initiatives which help parents in the workplace."
Whilst the group is still at the early stages of development, it has already created:
- DWF buddy list to connect colleagues on issues they might be experiencing such as looking after a seriously ill child.
- A listening session with group members to gather insight to inform action plans for 2023.
- A private Yammer page where colleagues can share content and advice.
- An intranet hub page containing:
o Internal policies including our Family Friendly, Flexible Working, Workplace Adjustments, and Emergency leave policies.
o Internal support including our Employee Assistance Programme, other D&I Employee Networks such as our Carers Group, resources links to the Mindful Business Charter, nursery discounts and annual leave purchases.
o External Support resources such as Working Families, The Breastfeeding Network, Employers for Carers and Carers UK.