Returner Programmes: Best Practice Guidance for Employers | Government Equalities Office

Government Equalities Office

This best practice guidance was co-authored by Women Returners and Timewise based on their extensive experience of working with those returning to the labour market following a break to care for others.

There are 1.9m women who are economically inactive for caring reasons, a large number of whom have professional/managerial experience.

Around three quarters of women surveyed by Opportunity Now would like to return to work at some point; however significant barriers, both personal and structural, stand in their way.

In the Spring Budget 2017, the Prime Minister announced £5 million to “promote returnships in the public and private sector.”

The 2017 Conservative Manifesto pledged to support organisations to take on parents and carers “returning after long periods of absence”.

Returner programmes which lead to permanent roles were pioneered in the UK in 2014. Their number has grown from just three that year to over 40 in 2017, primarily in the financial services, consulting and STEM sectors.

The Government Equalities Office aims to increase the number and scope of returner programmes, and ensure that employers are offering good quality, evidence-based opportunities to returners at all levels.

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