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WorkEqual’s Why Care About Childcare: How permanent tsb Support Parents

17 November 2022

As permanent tsb enters into year three of our partnership with the WorkEqual Campaign, promoting gender equality in workplaces across Ireland, we proudly reflect on our efforts to support parents overcome one of Ireland’s biggest obstacles to gender equality in the workplace – Childcare.

Who are WorkEqual?

WorkEqual, founded by TV Presenter, designer and social entrepreneur Sonya Lennon, is a national organisation that acts as ambassador for working women by raising awareness, provide solutions to businesses and advocating for workplace equality and fair remuneration on a national and EU level. This year, WorkEqual are putting the spotlight on Childcare and how it can impact gender equality and we thought we could reflect on the work we have done in this area too.

At permanent tsb, we believe that all of our colleagues, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, religion, ability/disability, background or life experiences have a right to equal opportunities – including parents. We support working parents to continue in the workforce through our Family Friendly Policies and paid leave options that go above the statutory entitlements including; fully paid maternity leave, adoptive leave and paternity leave, force majeure leave, carer’s leave and the provision of a Wellbeing Day - amongst others. 

There are two key areas that help us to stand out in support of parents, our flexible working options and our external parental support partners.

Flexible Working Options

Smart Work, permanent tsb’s Smart and Flexible Working Framework, first appeared on the agenda for the Bank with the launch of our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy in 2018.  Since then, the promotion of Smart Work, such as reduced hours, home working, and compressed hours has supported enhanced flexibility and work life balance for all colleagues aimed at attracting and retaining diverse talent across functions and levels. Currently 52% of colleagues are availing of Smarter Working Options, including women in leadership positions who embrace the opportunities provided, allowing colleagues to see how flexibility and a successful career within permanent tsb can align.    

Smarter Working Options are supported by initiatives such as our Team Charters, which provide colleagues with a platform to discuss suitable times for team meetings, messages, calls or onsite collaboration days, taking into consideration our colleagues responsibilities outside of the workplace in order to ensure that all team members are included in key meetings / planning sessions. We are working to ensure parents not only remain in the workforce, but also have every opportunity to progress their careers at permanent tsb should they choose to do so. 

Parental Support Partners

We have created a package of external support services through engagement with three service providers who offer a wide range of supports for all of our colleagues to help them navigate different stages in their journey through parenthood. These include:

  1. New parents and soon to be new parents have access to a career coach who can support them to articulate their career goals and/or concerns and formulate an action plan for a pathway forward. This is provided by an external, independent and confidential outlet. The career coach is to help colleagues feel empowered to navigate a new stage of life and stay in the workforce.
  2. A coach for parents/carers of toddlers and young children whose aim is to equip and empower parents to promote optimal Speech, Language, Communication and Social-Emotional early milestone development for young children/toddlers.
  3. A coach for parents/carers of 5–17 year olds, supported by training, e-learning and workshops for parents and children focused on promoting healthy conversations about friendships, relationships, sexuality, physical development, feelings and communication to enable children and teens to make healthy relationship choices now, and into their futures.

While a lot remains to be done to ensure gender workplace equality in Ireland, permanent tsb are proud to be leading the Financial Services industry in providing practical external parental supports and Smarter Working Options.

There has never been a more important time for businesses across Ireland to focus on addressing the barriers to women's and men's full and equal participation in the workplace, taking direct and proactive steps to make this a reality across society.

This is the responsibility of every employer and we are proud to contribute to this national effort, in partnership with the WorkEqual campaign.

For more on our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, visit our blog.

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