Friday Five: EX50 Special!

Syreeta Brown, Virgin Money

1. Making a commitment to colleague wellbeing

Virgin Money recently announced a new benefits package for all employees, which will offer them five ‘wellbeing days’ a year, on top of their 30 days of holiday. When added to bank holidays and the ability to “buy” more days off, employees can spend nearly 50 days away from work per year. In addition, the firm said that it will offer new parents 20 weeks of leave, and 52 weeks overall.

Andrew Bush, Greene King

2. Eliminating worry among furloughed staff

As a pub company, Greene King was hit hard by the pandemic, with 99% of its staff furloughed. To eliminate worry, the company topped up all staff’s pay to 100% — including those who had joined too recently to qualify for the government scheme. Thirty thousand of its people accessed the Wagestream app, which allows users to receive a portion of their wages before payday.

Danny Harmer, Aviva

3. Embracing all forms of diversity and inclusion

Under Danny Harmer, diversity and inclusion has become an even greater focus for Aviva than it already was. To help close the firm’s gender pay gap, she said that all roles would offer flexible working, which is expected to increase applications from women; that all shortlists would be gender balanced; and that the firm would use the Textio software platform, which claims to help create gender-neutral job adverts.

Tanuj Kapilashrami, Standard Chartered

4. Improving productivity and carbon footprint

By the end of 2021 Standard Chartered had offered flexible working to half its staff, something it will possibly be able to expand to 95% of its 85,000 staff by 2023. The announcement followed a consultation with staff about how they would want to work, and also a review of which jobs could be performed remotely. The bank is also in talks with a partner to offer “near-home” workspaces, to reduce commuting.

Mark Mullen, Atom Bank

5. Reshaping the nature of how we work

The Durham-based challenger bank Atom recently announced that all its 430 staff will be able to work a four-day week with no reduction in pay. Working hours will go down from 37 to 34 a week. The bank says that it is “taking the lead in reshaping the nature of work to take account of longer working lives, the positive impact of technology and flexible working and the need to live and work more sustainably”.



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