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 demonstrate 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. Eligible employees are entitled to company enhanced paternity 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 eligable 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 wind farm, Vanessa 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.”

Imran's story

Muhammed Imran Khan is a Wind Farm Commissioning Project Manager, working for Hornsea Two between London and Humberside Airport in Lincolnshire.

Not only is Imran responsible for the commissioning and energisation of what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, he’s also a father to four-year-old Inaayah with another child due in July.

 

Two years ago, Inaayah started to suffer with an irritation on her skin which Imran sought to cure. “I’d been visiting our local GP, trying all sorts of medicines and creams which were prescribed to her,” says Imran, “but none of them were working.”

 

As an Ørsted employee, Imran benefits from private medical insurance which provides full cover for eligible patient treatment and associated specialists’ charges. Intended to complement the NHS, private medical insurance with AXA PPP Healthcare Limited requires a referral from the employee’s General Practitioner (GP).

 

“Thankfully I’ve been able to add Inaavah on to my personal medical insurance as a dependent,” says Imran, “and about three months ago, we had our first visit to a private clinic about her skin condition. The doctor was great and took samples of my daughter’s skin to understand what might be causing it to get irritated. She was prescribed some really effective medication and it’s already started to heal her sores.”

 

“I’m taking Inaayah for her final visit to the private GP in the next few weeks and will find out if she needs to continue with medication, or whether her skin has fully healed. I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to utilise this private resource and that we’ve seen such a rapid improvement. My little girl is back to being her happy, smiley self and as such, so am I!”

John's story

As an adoptive parent, John has come across some unique challenges whilst working at Ørsted as a Senior Offshore Cable Installation Specialist where he has to travel to countries such as Denmark and America.

“About seven years ago, my wife and I adopted two sisters called Kairo (13) and Angel (11). The whole experience of adoption has proved to be extremely rewarding and whilst the girls come with their own challenges, I’ve also been supported the whole time by Ørsted.

“When we first got the girls home, my team at the time bought us presents as congratulations for the new additions to our family and I knew then that I would benefit from the continued backing of my colleagues.

Working within work in project development for the company means that John regularly travels across the globe.

“We’re currently overcoming a few challenges with our eldest daughter but my department is so understanding about any last minute arrangements I’ve had to make and the ability to work flexibly has helped our situation massively.”

John has the ability to work from home with fully functional IT systems, should there be any last-minute incidents at home that he has to help out with.

He added, “I couldn’t be more thankful for the way they’ve supported us. The way the company has shown such understanding for our position really has made a huge difference to the way we live our lives.”

As an Ørsted employee, you may be entitled to our adoption leave policy which 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 eligible for enhanced company adoption pay following 12-month continuous employment.

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.”

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.”

Andrew's story

A wind turbine technician for Lincs Offshore Wind Farm, Andrew is a shift worker who spends most of his working day out at sea. Andrew is keen to help creating a world that runs entirely on green energy not only for himself, but for his children, Archie (10), Freddie (7) and foster son (7).

“My work life balance is brilliant.” Says Andrew, “I’m able to take and collect the children from school and attend most of Archie’s rugby matches – it’s just awesome!”

With a selection of careers available at Ørsted, there’s sure to be a work pattern which suits everyone. For wind farms located nearer to shore, such as Lincs, technicians are able to travel to and from work in the same day. For wind farms further afield, the technicians stay onboard a purpose built ship, called a Service Operations Vessel (SOV). Technicians are able to stay on the vessel for two weeks at a time, before returning home for two weeks off.

“My current shift pattern means that I work one week on and one weeks off,” he explains. “This allows us as a family to plan time together, which at our children’s ages is so precious as they soon grow up!” Living in East Yorkshire, Andrew and his family live on a small holding in the countryside, “We have a small flock of sheep and being able to spend time with the children during lambing time is priceless.”

John's story

John Sullivan is a project manager responsible for the delivery of the Offshore Substation package on New Jersey’s first utility scale offshore wind farm, Ocean Wind. John is also father to two children, Elowen (4) and Noah (9 months).

Ørsted recently introduced an enhanced paternity leave policy which meant that fathers who had either just had a new baby or had a baby within the past 12 months of the policy launch date, would benefit from an additional four weeks leave, on top of the statutory two weeks entitlement. 

Here John tells the story of how he benefitted from this additional time off work, “Ørsted is a company that openly promotes a culture centred around family values.” He said, “Ørsted affords employee's the flexibility to structure and manage our time in a manner to ensure demanding work and family commitments can co-exist in harmony, flexibility which is important to my partner and I as two working parents.”

“In March, I was able to take my enhanced leave to care for our baby boy, giving him another month of parental care, which has been a wonderful bonding experience for us both and far preferable to placing him into paid child care while my partner returned to work.”

The scheme benefits eligible employees who are entitled to company enhanced paternity 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.

Jennifer's story

Jennifer 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.”

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