Celebrating Support for Working Parents

Parenting NI partnered with Allen & Overy to mark the annual Parenting Week with a business breakfast event focusing on support for parents in the workplace on Tuesday 22nd October.

It’s often said that being a parent is the most important job you will ever have, but for a lot of parents it’s not their only job which can make striking a balance between work and family life difficult. More than half admit to feeling “burnt out” with work as the primary cause.

Local parenting support charity, Parenting NI, have been working with businesses across Northern Ireland to provide workplace support for parents and are delighted to be working with Allen & Overy in showcasing good practice in family friendly policies.

Director for Training and Development at Parenting NI, Maria Rogan said with the amount of different pressures on modern families it’s important that there’s a shift in workplace culture,

“Employers who support and respond to the needs of working parents are helping to shape a workplace for an evolving workforce. We are delighted to be working with Allen & Overy, who have been named in the top 30 Family Friendly Employers 2019, to highlight how supporting your parent employees is beneficial to business.”

Barry O’Donnell, IT Manager with Allen & Overy, was supported by his employer throughout his adoption process.

“Allen & Overy were on the journey with me from the beginning of the process right through to the end, which in our case was 41 months!” Barry explained, “I got great support from both my management team and HR. One to one support and flexible working helped to ease the pressure and allowed me to focus on the fostering and adoption process.

“They continually kept in touch to ensure I had everything I needed. They helped me access Shared Parental Leave and worked closely with my husband’s employer, making a complex process easier to navigate. They also ensured that the process was reviewed to support others who may follow the same path in the future.

“Upon returning to work I’m still supported by the company.  I have access to a programme of health and wellbeing initiatives and the Allen & Overy Family Network hosts regular seminars and events like this one to support parents. My employer’s support has been invaluable.”

It is hoped that the event helped open up a wider conversation about the importance of support and flexibility for working parents at every stage of their parenting journey. Further information about the support Parenting NI can offer employers can be found here.