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Scotland’s most flexible employers announced

Scotland’s best employers for flexible working have been announced by leading work life balance charity, Family Friendly Working Scotland.

Now in its fifth year, the Top Employers Awards celebrate forward-thinking employers who understand how flexibility is good for people - helping them successfully balance work and home life - as well as for business growth.

Figures from Family Friendly Working Scotland show Scots are almost unanimous (95%) in their belief that work life balance is at least as important as salary. This includes nearly a third (32%) of the population who feel it is more important. More than half (55%) of Scottish workers say they already work flexibly (1).

The winners were announced to an audience of 150 Scottish business leaders at a spring-themed Brewery Bash at WEST Brewery in Glasgow (21/3/19).

The 2019 Top Employers were:

Best Large Employer: Deloitte – Accounting and professional services (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen)

Best Medium Employer: SST Sensing – Electronics manufacturer and supplier (Coatbridge)

Best Small Employer: Previse – Financial technology (Glasgow)

Best Public Sector Employer: Highlands and Islands Enterprise Economic and community development agency

Best Third Sector Employer: PKAVS – Charity working with unpaid carers, minority communities and people with mental health issues. (Perth)

Best Early Adopter: Arnold Clark – Motor dealership (Glasgow)

Best for Flexible Recruitment: LUC – Environmental consultancy(Edinburgh, Glasgow)

The following organisations were presented with Outstanding Achievement Awards:

  • Kindred Advocacy – Charity supporting parents of disabled children (Edinburgh and Fife)
  • Aviva – Insurance provider (Perth)
  • Cairngorms National Park Authority (Grantown on Spey)

Nikki Slowey, Co-Director of Family Friendly Working Scotland, said: “Congratulations to all the award-winning organisations, who are nurturing a new way of working in Scotland.

“Offering flexibility around when, where and how people work helps them feel less stressed and more focused. Once again entries for these awards demonstrated the numerous business benefits of flexible working. Organisations entering the awards told us about increased employee engagement and commitment, reduction in absenteeism, healthier workforces and increases in productivity as a result of embedding more flexible ways of working.

“However, demand still outstrips supply when it comes to flexible jobs in Scotland, so we hope more organisations will be inspired by our winners and explore what a more flexible, family friendly and inclusive working culture can do for them.”

The Scottish Government funds and supports Family Friendly Working Scotland. Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Fair Work and Skills, presented the awards to winners.

Mr Hepburn said: “The Scottish Government is determined to reduce gender inequality and improve women’s position in the workplace and indeed in all aspects of Scottish life.

“The recognition of flexible working as a key component in enhancing staff retention and recruitment is reflected in the fact we are a partner in – and fund – the Family Friendly Working Scotland partnership.

“Offering flexible working practices will attract an under-utilised pool of talent into the labour market and help to tackle the gender pay gap.”

Scott Stewart, Head of Barclays Scotland, the awards’ headline sponsor, said: “For me it’s very simple. If we have great working environments for our colleagues, we have happy workers, which means successful companies, which means a thriving Scottish economy. If we can create all that, we will then get more investment into Scotland and it becomes a positive movement in itself from a very simple ethos.”

The judges looked for clear examples of how organsiations support their people to have a good work-life balance. They considered the company culture, leadership and practical support provided as well as official policies. They also wanted to see family friendly working as part of an organisation’s strategy and how this impacts positvely on the business. The judges heard testimonials from employees as part of the process.

The winners embrace many forms of flexible working including part-time hours, compressed hours, flexible start and finish times, remote working, term-time working and/or more ad-hoc arrangements that help members of staff to balance their home and work lives.

Increasing productivity is just one of the evidenced business benefits of flexible working. Other benefits include increasing staff retention, improving recruitment and reducing absenteeism (2).

The event was hosted by Petra Wetzel, Founder and Managing Director of WEST Brewery. Ultra-endurance cyclist, Jenny Graham, who recently broke the Guinness World Record for being the fastest woman to circumnavigate the world by bike, was among guest speakers.

The awards were sponsored by Barclays, Quorum Network Resources, ILF Scotland, CIPD, Arnold Clark, Skills Development Scotland, City Building, Dentons, Pursuit Marketing and Scottish Power.

Embargoed photos are available from 5pm on Thursday 21 March. Journalists requiring more information can contact Jenny Legg on 07725 619304 or email


Notes to editors:

  1. Unless otherwise stated, figures are from YouGov. Total sample size was 1,011 adults of which 519 were workers. Fieldwork was undertaken online between September 4 and 7, 2018. The figures are weighted and representative of all Scottish adults aged 18 and over.

2. CIPD Factsheet on flexible working:

Family Friendly Working Scotland aims to create and support working culture change in Scotland that builds economic success and improves people’s lives.

Family Friendly Working Scotland works with employers, government, families and others to promote a flexible working culture. This is a way of working which delivers business success and enables employees to have a good balance between work and home life.

Spanning boundaries between private, public and third sectors, we offer practical support to employers and share best practice. We also raise awareness of the issues and benefits around flexible and family friendly working. Acting as a nucleus, Family Friendly Working Scotland promotes innovative and sustainable ways of working that are good for people and the Scottish economy.

Family Friendly Working Scotland is a collaborative partnership between Working Families, Fathers Network Scotland, Parenting Across Scotland and the Scottish Government. Visit or @ffworkscot on Twitter.

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