Case study: Barclays.

In challenging perceptions and traditional workplace models, Barclays’ has made significant strides in realising its long-term vision to create a cultural sea change in the workplace, particularly for fathers and families.

The organisation clearly recognises that families of today are dynamic and come in all shapes and sizes.

Barclays continuously reviews policies and practices to ensure they are fit for the workforce of the future and the ‘Working Families Network’ is helping the organisation change its culture organically through events and activities aimed at all family members, no matter their gender or role.

Barclays ‘Dynamic Working Campaign’ recognises home and work roles, and acknowledges the need for time, flexibility and energy to undertake them all. It allows colleagues to structure work around what matters to them, whether it be daily elderly care-related requirements, working pattern changes for new parents or pursuing personal interests. Also taken into account are milestone occasions such as a child’s first day at school.

Barclays’ aim is to enhance gender equality, challenge the perception that primary care in the home comes predominately from mothers, and afford fathers greater diversity and inclusion benefits.

Events are run regularly focusing on different challenges faced by carers’ and parents, including a ‘Working Father Group’ to encourage take up of the many employee benefits.

This recognised network of working fathers in Scotland gives colleagues an opportunity to consider the challenges that working fathers face and dispel perceptions and myths. By focussing on working fathers, the organisation recognises the benefits for both working mothers and fathers in the workplace and at home.

The organisation’s expectant fathers are entitled to two weeks’ paternity leave, and can apply for shared paternity leave. This includes same-sex couples, single parents, and adopting parents, and offers support during adoption, surrogacy or fertility treatment.

The organisation also has plans to extend events focussed on its working fathers. Craig Richardson, Resilience Partner explained “After the birth of my son in 2012, I requested three months’ additional paternity leave. I would recommend this to any new father. It was a life-changing experience, which allowed me much-needed time to establish a strong bond with my son. The company were fully supportive throughout the process and have a wealth of supporting documentation online to help with your decision.”