Top Employer Award Categories

For more than a decade, our Top Employer Awards have celebrated and shared best practice in flexible working, gender diversity, returners, family support and progressing women at work. Please view categories below.

Best for Mental Health & Wellbeing Award

To be eligible for the Best for Mental Health and Wellbeing Award your organisation should demonstrate initiatives aimed at helping employees with health issues who want to remain in or return to the workplace, preventing stress and ill health and creating a positive working environment where individuals can thrive.

This may include:

  • Initiatives that recognise the mental health challenges many workers are facing
  • Initiatives that help employees with health issues who want to remain in or return to the workplace
  • Benefits that support health and wellbeing
  • Addressing workload, eg, through job redesign or review
  • Ensuring that people are not burning out through constant connection, overwork or blurring of work life boundaries
  • Signposting to mental health or wellbeing resources
  • Line manager training on mental health and wellbeing
  • Initiatives that focus on good work and on work life balance
  • Initiatives to address financial well being

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices and case studies will be considered. 

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Best for Diversity & Inclusion Award

To be eligible for the Best for Diversity and Inclusion Award your organisation should demonstrate actions taken to ensure equality of opportunity for all.

This may include:

  • Data collection and mining for up-to-date information on recruitment and progression
  • Action plans based on data gathering
  • Initiatives to promote an inclusive culture, from recruitment onwards
  • Staff networks or other methods for understanding the particular issues faced by underrepresented sections of the workforce
  • Line manager training
  • Use of flexible working to widen the talent pool for carers, those with disabilities, etc
  • Role modelling and leadership from the top on D&I issues
  • Effective initiatives to address bias in the workplace

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices and case studies will be considered. 

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Best for Flexible Working Award

To be eligible for the Best for Flexible Working Award you should demonstrate how your organisation promotes and manages flexible working and encourages a flexible culture.

This could include:

  • Managing hybrid working
  • Promoting flexible working in job adverts
  • Monitoring career progression of flexible workers
  • Ensuring a range of flexible working options are available
  • Support for remote workers
  • Rewarding managers for effectively managing hybrid or flexible teams
  • Promoting flexibility to frontline workers
  • Line manager training

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices and case studies will be considered. 

Click here to enter

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Best for Family Support Award

To be eligible for the Family Support Award your organisation should demonstrate how it’s policies and practice support working families and carers.

Your submission could include:

  • Flexible working around childcare commitments
  • Support with finding or paying for childcare
  • Support for employees looking after elderly parents or relatives.
  • Provision of equal parenting and leave that covers particular challenges for parents, such as neonatal leave
  • Reproductive health policies such as fertility and miscarriage
  • Virtual employee support networks
  • Use of social media channels to share challenges

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices and case studies will be considered. 

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Best SME Award

To be eligible for the SME award, your organisation should show a real commitment to helping employees balance home and work life. We would also like to hear about all the good practice within your organisation that has a positive impact on your employees.

This award is split into two by company size: 1 – 25 employees and 26 – 250 employees.

Possible areas, if relevant, you may include in your submission are:

  • Information on how flexible working works in your organisation and why what you offer exceeds standard practice.
  • How you have supported employees with childcare or caring for elderly relatives
  • The range of working patterns available, including term-time working, annualised hours, part-time vacancies and take-up
  • How you support women’s return to work after maternity leave
  • How you support those returning from career breaks and career progression for all
  • Do you use flexible working as a talent attraction tool, i.e. do you use it on recruitment adverts?
  • Initiatives to encourage the wellbeing of your staff
  • Good practice around family support – such as caring for sick children or elderly relatives
  • How you support older workers, i.e. countering ageism in the recruitment process, making available senior management positions, health related policies, etc.
  • Initiatives that help dads at work

These are just suggestions and there may be other aspects relating to gender equality at work and family friendly working that you might like to highlight.

Providing Evidence

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices will be considered.

Statistics you may include are:

  • % of women recruited in the last year and any data on recruitment to non-traditional roles for females
  • Employee engagement data
  • % of employees who work flexibly, whether formally or informally, including a male/female breakdown where possible
  • % of women at board level
  • Retention figures, including after maternity/paternity leave
  • % of women in senior and middle management position

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices and case studies will be considered. 

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Best for Age Diversity 

To be eligible for the Best for Age Diversity Award, you should provide details of what your organisation does and how it helps people over the age of 50 and under the age of 25, including through metrics. You should also include details of how you are monitoring success and individual case studies which show impact.

Entrants should demonstrate:

  • How they counter age discrimination in the recruitment process
  • Flexible working options
  • Mid-career reviews
  • Training for workers under the age of 25 and over the age of 50
  • Policies for women who are going through the menopause
  • Senior management part-time options
  • Carer support
  • Reverse mentoring
  • Age-tailored benefits
  • Age diversity networks
  • Apprenticeships and other initiatives that support young people to get the training and support they need in their first jobs

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices and case studies will be considered. 

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Best for Learning and Development

To be eligible your organisation should demonstrate that you have created the right culture and environment for all individuals to learn and grow and to keep learning and upskilling, throughout their working lives.

You should demonstrate a commitment to and strategy for enabling everyone at all levels and with all patterns of working to progress in their careers.

This may include:

  • Analysing data on progression and pay gaps and producing effective action plans
  • Working with employee network groups to ensure learning and development policies are inclusive
  • Ensuring that all jobs offer a career pathway
  • Offering training and development opportunities to all and looking at innovative ways to help employees to progress whether upwards or sideways
  • Ensuring there are part-time and flexible roles at all levels of the organisation
  • Offering mentoring and sponsorship opportunities to help disadvantaged employees get ahead.

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices and case studies will be considered. 

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Best for Talent Attraction and Outreach

To be eligible to apply for the Talent Attraction and Outreach Award, organisations should demonstrate that they are thinking creatively about outreach and recruitment in a difficult labour market.

That might involve:

  • Outreach events/initiatives to underrepresented groups
  • Checking the language and imagery used in job adverts
  • Ensuring diverse interview panels and tackling bias in the recruitment process
  • Promoting policies and benefits externally and branding to attract underrepresented groups.

Submissions should be backed up by supporting evidence, where possible, such as examples of job adverts, training around interviewing and data on how programmes and initiative are evaluated.

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices and case studies will be considered. 

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Special Innovation Award

This award is for organisations that have a stand-out policy or initiative related to working parents, women’s career progression, older workers or flexible working that has/is having a demonstrable impact on its employees or the wider community.

Examples may include:

  • a policy on neonatal leave
  • an initiative on domestic violence or microaggressions
  • a campaign on mental health
  • a reverse mentoring scheme

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices and case studies will be considered. 

Click here to enter

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