Industry Best Practice - NABS
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Industry Best Practice

Here is a directory of industry agencies, owners and clients that are working hard to support their working parents.



  • Offers both permanent and temporary flexible working hours


  • Promote greater flexibility and encourage employees to work when and where they need to


  • Flexible working policy allows parents to fit their childcare responsibilities such as school drop-off and pick-up or extra-curricular activities (for example) around their working week

Rufus Leonard

  • Offer home-working across the company & incorporate flexible working into staff job descriptions

Starcom MediaVest Group

  • Has accepted every single flexible-working request made

BT has seen major improvements through their roll out of flexible working practices:

  • Absenteeism reduced by 63%
  • Greater productivity in their flexible-working employees
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • 20% reduction in churn of flexible-working employees
  • Reduction in HR costs of approximately £3 million
  • Retention rate following maternity leave was 99% in 2012, saving BT an estimated £7.4 million a year


  • Offer a number of flexible working options including guaranteeing part-time work for parents returning from maternity or paternity leave if they want it
  • Offer a part-time role equivalent to 2.5 days per week which can be split a number of ways to help balance family life

Channel 4

  • Offer coaching for pregnant employees before they go on maternity leave
  • Offer follow-up coaching sessions for women returning to work after their maternity leave.

Dentsu Aegis Network

  • Line managers of expectant parents offered coaching.

Coaching and training for managers on:

  • Flexible working practices and the benefits for the employees, team and the company if used effectively
  • How to handle flexible working requests and appropriate conversations to have with pregnant employees


  • Provide a robust framework to advise line managers when managing pregnant employees.
  • Produce a supplementary guide to highlight the key areas line managers need to consider when they have a pregnant employee in their team.

Starcom MediaVest Group

  • Hold regular catch-ups between pregnant employees and HR
  • Train line managers in appropriate maternity conversations

American Express

  • Provide training to all managers on how to manage flexible working requests
  • Encourage managers to consider what working arrangements are required for employees returning from maternity and adoption leave, moving the onus away from the employee to initiate a flexible working conversation with their leader

National Grid

  • Hold workshops for new and expectant dads & are building a company-wide network of dads

Dentsu Aegis Network

  • Offers Company Enhanced Shared Parental Pay across all of it’s agencies in the UK.
  • Shared parental pay matched with maternity and adoption leave pay.
  • Offering anyone with a new child to take up to 20 weeks’ paid leave.
  • Expectant parents offered group coaching where they can prepare for leave and also prepare to return to work.


  • Gives $4,000 ‘baby cash’ for new parents
  • Provides four month’s paid maternity and paternity leave
  • Offers egg freezing under a $20,000 benefit to cover fertility treatments
  • Subsidises child-care


  • Provide $500 “Baby Bonding Bucks” to all new parents
  • New Mums and Dads get 12 weeks fully paid baby bonding time
  • Offer Preferential parking spaces
  • Provide High Chairs in their work cafes

J. Walter Thompson

  • Have held focus groups for working parents including fathers
  • Are developing initiatives including a working parents network on the company’s intranet and buddying/mentoring scheme


  • Offers a shared parental leave policy which features 26 weeks paid leave for mums and dads.
  • Option to apply for an element of partner’s shared parental leave and/or shared parental pay
  • Paid leave for antenatal appointment for expectant mums and dads.
  • Up to 6 days paid emergency leave for parents in addition to annual leave


  • Match shared parental leave with maternity leave, also available for parents who both work at MediaCom


  • Offer regular catch ups with expectant fathers to ensure they understand their legal rights and how the company can support them in their new role


  • Are looking into expanding the existing “mum’s network” to include dads and others with caring responsibilities


  • Have developed A ‘Stay in Touch’ app so employees and line managers can keep in touch during parental leave
  • Features include links to an HR Portal showing available support as well as relevant resources and information for both employee and line manager

Johnson & Johnson

  • Gives new parents an additional 7 (separate or consecutive) weeks of paid leave during the first year of the child’s birth or adoption
  • Provides concierge service for all employees (so that they can spend more time doing the things they love)


  • Provides all employees with four or more years’ service with 100% of salary for 52 weeks parental leave


  • Parent buddy scheme linking new parents to more experienced parents at Maxus for practical advice and support


  • Enable parents to open up conversations with their line managers about their life “blend” through the company’s “Open Blend Method” – a tool that encourages discussions about career development, areas of focus and interest


  • The CEO believes in bringing the whole person to work and is very honest about her responsibilities as a working Mum. She openly tells employees when she needs to leave to sort out home life


  • Offer 2 return to work bonuses (after 3 months and 6 months of returning to work) for mothers returning to work after 26 weeks’ leave or more
  • The bonus is equivalent to 1 or 2 week’s salary depending on length of service


  • Run a Mums Network which meets monthly for an informal lunch
  • Run a buddy system for mothers going on or returning from maternity leave, giving them an opportunity for additional support and advice from a working mother who has been through the process

Starcom MediaVest Group

  • Offer an eight-day Back to the Business Ship course for women who have been out of the media industry and want to return


  • Run a 50/50 recruitment drive to increase the number of women moving into senior management roles
  • Provide a professional returners programme to support candidates for senior manager roles who have been away from the workplace, caring for children or other dependents


  • Provide comfort rooms for staff who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Run seminars on parenting and first aid as well as coaching sessions
  • Have a one-stop family website
  • Have seen 90% of women return from maternity leave and 92% return after having a second baby. The company has also seen a trebling in flexible working requests from fathers
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