A forum designed especially to help women return to work has been officially launched by the City Council.
The forum was the Council’s pledge to make sure that women had access to all the advice and support they would need to help them return to work after maternity or child care leave. The support forum offers guidance on family friendly working policies and where to access all kinds of information needed when thinking about returning to work.
As part of the process of developing the forum, the Council asked staff about their experiences during maternity leave and on returning to work. Building on these responses the Council have reviewed and rewritten many family related policies to make life easier and less stressful for new mums. The Council now hope to encourage other employers in the city to follow suit and make their policy’s family friendly.
Zoe Anning, Parking Systems Manager at Plymouth City Council said: “I was lucky during my pregnancy with twins that I worked with my manager to manage my work commitments and hospital appointments, but I know some people don’t always get this support. It’s good to hear that employers are listening to employees and adapting HR policies to make life easier and fairer. A forum like this with all the information in one place is a great idea for new mums as it can be daunting, especially as a new mum with twins, so any help can only be a good thing.”
Deputy Leader of the Council Pete Smith said: “It is essential that we as a Council are able to offer help and guidance to help women return to work. As a result of this survey, we have changed a lot of our own policy’s to make it easier for women returning to work. We want to make sure that we are leading by example and as a result of this forum we will be able to offer even more women the opportunity to balance work with their family.”
Councillor Sue McDonald agreed and said: “We know that are lot of women are ready to go back to work but need extra help and support to understand their rights. The forum is a dedicated resource they can tap into that will help them understand their rights to request things like flexible working and shared parental leave.”
The women returners forum is run as part of the city’s 1000 Club, which was established in 2012. The 1000 Club is a network of local businesses that are committed to supporting people into careers in the city.
For more details visit the forum www.1000club.co.uk/Women-Returners.aspx