Take a look at an inside story from Essex County Council, which highlights their strong views on the benefits of offering flexible working and progression:
Laura Davis-Hughes is a qualified finance professional who has been working at the Council for just over 12 years, and has recently been appointed as Head of Finance for Adult Social Care.
Laura has a 17-month old son, Harry, who obviously means the world to her, but her career is also important. So how does she ensure that she achieves a healthy work-life balance?
“I work 30 hours over three and a half days which works really well for me. I have quite a lot of internal meetings during the day, but I can pick up work in the evening after putting Harry to bed. It’s really flexible which works brilliantly for me in my current situation."
So, was coming back from maternity leave into a part-time role as a Head of Finance and a new mother daunting?
“While I was on maternity leave I put my proposal to my manager which was accepted and has been supported; and moving into my new role has been no problem.”
When asked about her overriding thoughts about Essex County Council as an employer, Laura had this to say:
“ECC is one of the most flexible employers I can think of. It’s a really exciting place to work! I think back to when I was an Accounting and Finance student at a London University; everyone there wanted to go to a Big 4 company. I didn’t fancy that, I wanted something that had a bit more meaning to it.
"Public sector work means a lot and I am doing more challenging work than some of my friends who work in the private sector. Career-wise there’s just so much scope to develop here and we are very much a learning organisation. I run Learning and Development within Finance and we really believe in developing staff and so if that is what you are looking for, we will work with you to get you ready for those promotional opportunities.
"So don’t think that you have to choose between having a career or being a parent - or any other circumstance that requires flexibility, because you really can do it all here.”