New Advice Hub Will Help Colleagues Make The Most Of Family Leave
Irwin Mitchell has launched a parental portal to ensure colleagues across the business have access to the resources they need to get the most out of their family leave.
Irwin Mitchell has launched the Family Leave Portal as part of the firm’s wellbeing initiatives, to support colleagues before they leave the business, during the duration of their leave and to make their transition back to work seamless and carefree.
Designed following consultation with 27 colleagues across the group, the Family Portal provides a range of resources, information and tips on everything from maternity and paternity to adoption leave. Signposting is also provided to key resources for wellbeing, mental health and work/life balance, the wellbeing hub, healthy mind advocates, Employee Assistance Programme and much more.
During the coronavirus lockdown the firm has increased its flexibility on childcare policies and is assisting colleagues with advice on home schooling.
The opportunities for flexible working at the firm have never been greater and 400 people engaged in official flexible working patterns pre-lockdown has been boosted to 2,800 remote working today.
As a firm known for championing diversity, with one of the lowest gender pay gaps in the legal industry, high representation of women at senior levels and in the LGBT+ charity Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers, this new innovation builds on the work to provide colleagues with a better work/life balance.
The portal is aimed at any colleague needing time away from work to support or start families including those going through adoption, IVF, surrogacy and other caring responsibilities.
Louise Lumley, managing director of personal injury at Irwin Mitchell who was promoted to the executive board shortly after returning from maternity leave this year, said: “Planning for maternity leave and adjusting to a new life away from what you know at work can be incredibly daunting. I certainly had no idea what to expect when I went on maternity leave despite lots of “advice” from family and friends.
“Even though I was excited to return to work, the thought of leaving my daughter at nursery and getting us all out of the house before 8am seemed impossible!
“I was incredibly lucky to be supported every step of the way by Irwin Mitchell and given the flexibility to keep in touch during and return from my maternity leave in a way that worked for me.
“That flexibility is key – we’re all different and we all need different support. Our new Family Leave Portal is a brilliant resource for our colleagues, giving them access to information and support that they can tap into when they want it and in a way that works for them.”
Nicola Stocks, learning and development officer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Starting a family is a very exciting time and we are committed to doing everything we can to support our colleagues. The Family Leave Portal has been developed to give our colleagues the tools they need to get the most out of their experience.
“Wellbeing is at the heart of what we do and the portal allows us to support our colleagues every step of the way. It provides a wealth of resources and guidance, from the early stages of starting a family, right through to returning back to work.
“Through the use of the portal we hope the prospect of going on family leave and returning to work will feel less daunting and more enjoyable. The portal is part of our commitment to being a responsible business and helping colleagues achieve their business and personal objectives as they embark on family life.”
Colleague feedback from across the Group has helped form what the final portal looks like. The portal benefits from the experience of colleagues who have gone before, by looking at what they would have found helpful when making the transition to parenthood and incorporating that knowledge into the system for the benefit of all.