HR Business Partners Event I October 2014

The event on October 31st was an opportunity for HR business partners and colleagues to  have a practical discussion around the theme of ‘Communicating the message – the challenges for businesses operating in flexible 24/7 environments’.

KPMG provided a wonderful venue, facilities and buffet at their Salisbury Square office (this was actually one of the last public events to be held here as KPMG are shortly moving from this building). Professor Hilary Thomas, partner in KPMG’s Public Sector Healthcare Advisory Practice introduced the event, and the chair, Anne Sylvester, formerly of FCO Services and Adviser to the EfC Leadership Group spoke briefly about the challenges (and opportunities) raised at the last EfC event around business operating a 24/7 service and how they address and implement flexibility and other forms of support for carers. 


Nikki Yates, UK General Manager, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) and Member of the Women’s Business Council (WBC), gave a very inspiring speech about what can be done in the workplace  to optimise women’s contribution to economic growth – the landmark report ‘Maximising women’s contribution to future economic growth’ can be read here.

Following a short Q&A session and finger buffet, the chair led a questions and discussion session to explore how HR business partners are addressing/can address these issues, including sharing information about: 
  • how challenges (especially within operational teams and organisations providing 24/7 services) are being addressed and overcome
  • how progress is being/can be made on implementing carer friendly practices 
  • how organisations can best communicate the case internally about available carer support.
Kerry Johnson, Sainsbury’s and Fatima Choudhury, Financial Ombudsman helped kick this discussion session off by talking about the challenges within their workplaces, how they are seeking to overcome these and any progress that they have made.  
The event closed following informal networking and an opportunity for guests to find out more about EfC and Carers UK’s products including Jointly, e-learning and our Training/Consultancy service – developing high performing, carer-friendly organisations.  
EfC will be drawing together from the discussion pointers for the future and will be capturing the learning points in a practical toolkit for HR business partners which will be available as an EfC member resource at a later date.