Family friendly and flexible working at Ørsted

Our family friendly and flexible working policies are designed to ensure wellbeing and encourage all employees to reach their full potential.

We continually look at ways we can creatively manage the structure of roles and working practices in the UK to open up job opportunities to as many people as possible.

 

From flexible working, career breaks and maternity leave that supports and encourages sustainable career progression, we have developed enhanced policies to desmonstrate our commitment to a progressive and inclusive working culture.

 

Read more about Ørsted’s family friendly and flexible working policies below and hear from our employees who explain how they have benefited.

Family friendly and flexible working policies

Maternity leave

Ørsted’s enhanced maternity policy supports women during pregnancy and maternity leave with 6 months’ full pay and actively encourages career development on return to work. Many of our new parents have benefited from working flexibly at home and in the office while enjoying a young family.

Paternity leave

Paternity leave allows our employees to spend more time with their young children and can help with care arrangements. Elegible employees are entitled to company enhanced parternity leave for a maximum of 6 weeks. Shared Parental Leave is also available, making it possible for women to return to work sooner if they wish.

Adoption leave

Our adoption leave policy supports those wishing to adopt a child, foster a child with a view to possible adoption or have a child through a surrogate mother. Our employees can benefit from 52 weeks leave and are elegable for enhanced company adoption pay following 12-month continuous employment.

Flexible working

We are committed to supporting all employees with flexible working arrangements wherever possible and firmly believe that people who thrive at work are happier and healthier. Our flexible working policy allows employees at all levels of seniority to occasionally work from home, leave early or come in late to fit around their personal life.

Career break

Ørsted recognises there are times in life when employees may want or need to take a period of time away from work. Whether it be fulfilling personal and domestic commitments or for own career development such as extended periods of travel, overseas voluntary service or to pursue further education, we are committed to long-term career progression and staff retention and so allow eligible employees to take an unpaid career break for up to 12 months.

Flexible working employee case studies

Vanessa's story

As the Head of Asset Management for Hornsea One, the world’s largest offshore windfarm, Vanessa O’Connell has a very demanding role within the company, only matched by the challenges of being a mum of two to her daughters - Skye (3) and Ruby (9 months).

 

Not only has Vanessa felt comfortable and confident enough to return to her role, she has also been promoted twice whilst on maternity leave.

 

“I recently returned from my second maternity leave and have felt so supported by Ørsted over the last three years of parenthood” said Vanessa, “my manager was extremely supportive of me and is now someone that I see as more of a sponsor in my career development.”

 

As well as an understanding of Vanessa’s need to balance her work and family life, she also praises Ørsted’s network of colleagues, saying: “Over the years, the Women in Ørsted group has developed significantly. This strong support network of Ørsted employees work in different departments all over the country coming together to make improvements for the workforce, for instance securing improved parental leave for men.”

Felicity's story

A finance specialist and site assistant based at the world’s largest operations and maintenance facility in Grimsby, Felicity is also a mum to two boys.

 

“My youngest son is currently going through some assessments for autism,” said Felicity, “it’s a lengthy process but an essential one. I’ve been able to ask for some flexibility in my contract and Ørsted have provided me with the time off that I’ve needed to support him.”

 

“It’s a massive relief that I can be there when my son needs me,” she continued, “it helps me balance my work and personal life. If there are any appointments for my children which cannot take place outside of working hours, my requests are fully accommodated, and I can make my hours back up by working from home.”

 

“The ability to work from home is in itself another great benefit of working for Ørsted. Knowing that I’m trusted to complete my work in the required time whilst not having to be in the office means that I can nip to appointments and pick my laptop back up once the boys are in bed.”

 

 

Jennifer's story

Jennifer McCabe is a team secretary who provides administrative support to the Environment and Consents team at Ørsted’s London office.

 

A proud mother of three, Jennifer felt that without the ability to work flexibly, she wouldn’t have been able to return to work. 

 

“When I came back from my second maternity leave in July 2019, I had one child at school and two aged under three. The government nursery funding doesn’t apply until after a child’s third birthday and the cost of childcare for two, plus breakfast/afterschool clubs for my eldest was so high it left me with very little salary,” said Jennifer. “At that point, I was worried that I might not be able to return to work.”

 

Keen to continue with her career, Jennifer spoke to her manager to find out if there was a solution for her problem. “We put some things in place so that it could work for both of us,” said Jennifer, “I submitted a request for flexible working and was able to change my working hours on my contract. This combined with having the flexibility to come in slightly later on the days I had to do school drop offs as well as having the option to work from home if needed meant I could come back to work – which is what I’d really wanted to do.”

 

Now with a comfortable compromise, Jennifer feels that she has a good work and parent life balance. Concluding, Jennifer said: “I still suffer the dreaded mum guilt, but I’m happier now and can honestly say that this is all thanks to the flexibility and family friendly approach at Ørsted.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen's story

The reward and operations manager at Ørsted’s London office, Karen also has two teenage children and looks after her elderly parents, one of whom suffers with dementia.

 

According to the Carer UK website, women are more likely to become “sandwich” carers, meaning that they simultaneously look after their children whilst also caring for their parents.

 

“Many people have caring responsibilities that come in different forms,” said Karen, “I joined Ørsted when my children were 13 and 17 and whilst they were becoming independent, they still needed me.”

 

“At the same time, my mother’s dementia sadly became worse and this especially effected my father who had been with my mother since they were teenagers.”

 

Karen’s mother was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in October 2016 and the disease led to significant behaviour changes in her mother who no longer recognised her father and also became violent.

 

Karen continued, “My children are very close to their grandparents, it was my mother who had babysat, looked after them when they were ill and taught them how to cook.  As the sibling that lived closet to my parents, I ended up looking after my parents, emotionally more than physically, however I still had two teenagers who needed help to comprehend what was happening to their Grandmother. I am lucky I have a sister who is also very supportive although she lives a good hour’s drive away, we have been able to work as a team.”

 

Stepping in to support her father physically and emotionally, being mum to her own children and a wife to a husband that had been made redundant, Karen found herself as a wife, mother, daughter and sole breadwinner, in a new job.

 

“There are three main things about Ørsted that helped me get through this difficult time,” said Karen, “Firstly, the people and the support of those around me. I genuinely felt as though my colleagues cared for me and no judgement was made when I had to take personal calls,” she remembers, “the flexibility at Ørsted meant that I could leave early to go to parents evening or to take half day’s holiday at short notice for a meeting about mum. Also, the technology at Ørsted. I was able to work from home and trusted to do so.”

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