Parents & Carers

Supporting colleagues who provide care for others


Many of our people balance parental and caring responsibilities with their career. Our Parents & Carers steering group advocates for carers and offers support to those who need it.

We aim to help colleagues with caring responsibilities balance these duties with their day-to-day working life. We can help direct you to where you can obtain support with formal flexible working requests and approvals as well as advice on the types of flexible working available.

As well as making you aware of external organisations that can support you with legal advice and information regarding everything from caring allowances to how to support your own health and well-being as a parent or carer, we can also provide you with the right information on issues such as how to use your childcare vouchers, dependent leave usage, parental and maternity leave and our breastfeeding policy.

Working Forward

As a proud member of Working Forward - a coalition of organisations supporting pregnancy and maternity rights - we know that pregnancy and maternity can be a crucial time in any woman’s career and, in collaboration with the Women's steering group, are committed to supporting new parents in our workplace.

Royal Mail is one of 100 businesses that have signed up to the Government-backed initiative since it launched in September 2016, forming a coalition of like-minded organisations working together and sharing best practice to ensure employees have the most positive experience possible.

Our purpose:

  • To enable colleagues with caring responsibilities to work effectively on a day-to-day basis whilst fulfilling their caring responsibilities
  • To promote a culture of inclusiveness, drive positive change within the organisation and identify and recommend practical and effective solutions  to the Diversity Council to support colleagues with caring responsibilities
  • To review the application and deployment of business policies, practices and procedures to ensure they are fit for purpose  and  support colleagues with caring responsibilities
  • To increase the confidence of employees and managers to effectively deal with caring responsibilities
  • To act as a coordinating body for local parents and carers groups/networks.

Our priorities:

  • To educate and inform managers on what policies, procedures and guidance are available to support them when dealing with parenting and caring requests from colleagues
  • To upskill managers and provide them with the skills, confidence and understanding to deal with parenting and caring requests in a fair and professional manner
  • To better communicate the tools and support available to colleagues such as the flexible working e-learning tool, the maternity guide and the carer’s guide
  • To work with the Gender diversity steering group to tackle cross discipline issues such as flexible working and job sharing.

Policies and guides to support parents and carers can be found on the Policy and Information site on PSP. If you don’t have access to PSP, please ask your manager for copies:

  • Maternity leave
  • Adoption leave
  • Other time off
  • Ordinary parental leave
  • Shared parental leave
  • Paternity leave
  • Career break
  • Flexible working

Support guides for managers available:

  • Being a parent
  • Flexible working
  • Pregnancy and maternity support
  • Other time off
  • Managing employees with caring  responsibilities

Login to our People System Portal for more information on working arrangements. Colleague Employment policy summaries are available to download here.

Our director of HR Parcels Sally Ashford, said: ‘Every day our people prioritise in order to balance family, caring, and work commitments. We want to understand the daily challenges and provide people with the support they need to reach their potential.’

Internal resources

Our Occupational Health and Wellbeing site contains comprehensive occcupational health guidance, mental health support, information on managing stress, and links to our online health and wellbeing resource, the Wellbeing Zone, part of our Feeling First Class programme.

External resources

ACAS advice and guidance on pregnancy, maternity discrimination and breastfeeding on returning to work can be found here.

EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) Working Forward guides on managing pregnancy and maternity in the workplace can be found here.

Working Families ‘Guides, toolkits and Policies’ on a range of issues such as managing mothers and maternity, flexible working, paternity leave and pay, shared parental leave and supporting parents at work can be found here.

Age UK is the UK's largest charity working with older people and provides some excellent services.

Advice, information and support for carers on benefits, assessments and employment rights can be found on the Carers UK website as well as by calling the Carers UK Adviceline on 0808 808 7777. Information regarding what carers are entitled to in terms of external support, as well as advice on your legal right to have a carer’s assessment can be found here

Get in touch

To contact the Parents & Carers steering group, please email: Similarly, if you would like to join the group or you have any positive stories about how you as a parent or carer have been supported by the business, please get in touch!