As part of Frazer-Nash’s ongoing commitment to its people's wellbeing, it recently announced a New Parents’ Champion to provide support for parents of young children, inspiring them to continue with their career development during and after their return to work after starting a family.
HR Business Partner, Valerie Hardie, has taken on the role, which draws upon Frazer-Nash's value ‘we care’ in recognising the difficulties faced by parents in trying to balance the responsibilities of career demands whilst raising children. As New Parents’ Champion, Valerie will provide support for parents of new or young children; give insight to resources available, and inspire them to continue their career development once they return to work without feeling that they must make a choice between work and family commitments.
“Parents often find themselves juggling the nursery or school run, or covering emergency childcare. However, during lockdown, many parents found themselves in the position of having to decide who would miss an important work meeting or deadline to take care of the children, with the worry that it could be career limiting.
“There is a tendency for parents of young children to put themselves, and their needs, last. One of our key values as a business is that ‘we care’, and to demonstrate that value, we wanted to make it easier for our people to develop, grow, and progress in their careers – alongside raising their families.
“As our ‘New Parents’ Champion’, I will be providing support in helping to signpost people to the relevant resources and benefits that we have available. Everybody’s situation is unique to them – what works for one might not work for another. My role as the key point of contact will be to work with our people and their managers to identify any issues or concerns and facilitate a flexible solution that meets all their needs.
Describing her personal experience, Valerie continues:
“Having two older children myself, I know how difficult it is to raise a family while juggling a career. There was no real support available 12 years ago for me, or indeed for most parents. I just accepted that my career was on hold for 10 years whilst I brought up my family. I love the fact that I am able to support a different experience for our people who are parents now, and that we are truly living an inclusive culture.”
Feedback in response to the initiative from both parents and line managers has been positive, with both encouraged to take advantage of the support on offer. In particular, feedback on the Line Manager Coaching and New Parent Coaching available has been extremely positive.
One employee who made use of the Line Manager coaching commented:
“I wanted to make sure that I am doing the right things to support our people before, during and after they go on parental leave, so was very happy to have a coaching session. We had a great open discussion where we explored the thoughts and concerns people have around parental leave and returning to work, as well as the practicalities and need for flexibility. We discussed and identified ways to better support people, set sensible expectations and also difficulties related to working practices during the pandemic. Overall, it was a very good session, and I came away with some excellent ideas to follow up on.”
With a further member of staff adding:
“I would highly recommend the New Parent Coaching initiative to anyone returning to work after parental leave. It has provided me with tailored support which has increased my confidence and helped me achieve a good work-life balance.”
Along with this new role, an increase in family leave came into effect for both UK and Australian staff as of 1 April 2021. This increase means that in the UK, maternity leave is now paid in full for 20 weeks, and paternity leave is paid in full for 2 weeks. In Australia, the parental pay has also been doubled.
The role forms a part of a range of family friendly policies and career development opportunities that Frazer-Nash has established to support its people. For further information on the family support offering at Frazer-Nash, please see our employee benefits pages.